The death toll from the onslaught of Typhoon Bising has climbed to seven after the bodies of four missing seafarers were found Wednesday while disaster officials confirmed the death of a 47-year-old female after getting hit by a fallen tree.
Seven members of a crew forced to abandon their cargo ship after it ran aground at Malimono town in Surigao del Norte Monday have been rescued while the bodies of four others found, local disaster officer Aladdin Sumampong said.
Search teams were still looking for nine crew members.
The survivors were taken to hospital for treatment and were in a stable condition,
“I asked them what happened since the ship just ran aground… but they said the order of the captain was to abandon the ship because it will capsize soon due to big waves,” Sumampong told AFP.
The Philippine-registered vessel – laden with nickel ore and carrying 2,000 liters of diesel fuel – was still afloat, Sumampong said.
Two of the survivors were found on a beach with the bodies of two colleagues they had carried while swimming to shore, he said.
On Tuesday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council confirmed two fatalities – a 45-year-old male from Cebu and a 79-year-old male from Southern Leyte, who were both hit by a fallen tree.
It also reported that around 59,098 families or 229,829 persons residing in 944 barangays in Bicol, Eastern Visayas, and Caraga Regions were affected by the typhoon.
Out of this number, 3,848 families or 15,813 persons are being aided in 236 evacuation centers while 5,535 families or around 21,648 individuals are taking shelter with their relatives and friends.
The NDRRMC also reported almost P50 million worth of agricultural damage in Bicol and Eastern Visayas.
The slow-moving Bising is packing maximum sustained wind speeds of 165 kilometers an hour near its center, about 345 kilometers off the northern province of Cagayan.
It is not expected to make landfall.
The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 typhoons or storms every year. With AFP