PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan — Four more bodies were found in Mangsee Island, Balabac during the search and retrieval operations on Thursday bringing to 22 the number of dead recovered in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Vinta.
Captain Wanel Ansa, environment unit and civil-military affairs officer of Marine Battalion Landing Team 4 (MBLT4), told the Philippine News Agency that out of the 22 recovered bodies, 11 are still unidentified.
Ansa said four cadavers were recovered on December 25, seven on December 26, another seven on December 27, and four as of December 28.
The number of houses totally damaged by “Vinta” was 652 with 484 partially damaged. An estimated 143 families or 899 individuals are still in evacuation centers.
The evacuees are being taken care of by the health teams sent to Mangsee by Palawan provincial government through the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO).
Cruzalde Ablaña of PDRRMO said there are also 26 missing vessels in Mangsee, but three were already recovered.
Provincial Information Office (PIO) head Gil Acosta Jr. also said on Thursday that the number of “Vinta” fatalities might rise to around 30.
“Our problem is that because the island dwellers are mostly Muslims, they have buried their dead loved ones within 24 hours as it is their tradition. We are trying our best to determine how many really died because of ‘Vinta’,” he said.
Eight municipalities in southern Palawan were placed under a state of calamity by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan when it held a special session on Wednesday for the release of PHP35-million remaining quick response fund. Celeste Anna Formoso/PNA photo is courtesy of Annze Anna