• Twenty two of the 44 deaths were reported in Northern Mindanao
  • The number of injured individuals has reached 12, while 28 remain missing
  • More than 500,000 individuals have been affected by the weekend floods

The death toll of the previous weekend's Christmas flooding has climbed to 44, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management (NDRRMC) said Friday.

However, only 13 of the said fatalities have been verified by the authorities.

The NDRRMC said 24 of the reported deaths were from Northern Mindanao, while four were from Zamboanga, four from Davao, three from Caraga, three from Eastern Visayas and six from the Bicol region were recorded, GMA News reported.

Most of the fatalities were reportedly due to drowning and landslides, the agency said.

The number of missing people reported has also reached 28 from 26 on Thursday, according to the agency, with most of the missing individuals from Eastern Visayas and Bicol.

From nine the previous day in reported injured individuals, the number has climbed to 12 Friday.

The NDRRMC further noted that the Christmas flooding wiped out about 7,000 hectares of crops, damaged around 4,500 residential structures, and has put at least six towns in the south under a state of calamity.

The Office of Civil Defence (OCD) also said Friday that it has so far estimated infrastructure damage from the weekend floods to have reached around P1.1 billion (approximately $19.7 million), ABS-CBN News reported.

More than 509,000 people are estimated to have been affected by the heavy rain and flooding. In particular, 914 barangays in various parts of Visayas and Mindanao were hit hard by the weather event.

So far, an estimated 4,606 families are still sheltering at evacuation centers, while around 10,925 families have fled their homes and are living elsewhere after being forced out of their residences during the weekend.

Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said Friday that it has provided financial aid and food packs to 700 beneficiaries in hard-hit Aloran, Misamis Occidental as part of the efforts to bolster recovery in the area, which was placed under a state of calamity on Wednesday.

In the town of Clarin, also in Misamis Occidental, 583 beneficiaries received financial aid and food packs, the DSWD said.

A donation drive for the affected families in the Visayas and Mindanao has also been announced by the office of Cebu's 1st District Rep. Rhea Gullas.

"Misamis was one of the first to help us during Typhoon Odette. This time, it's our turn to give a helping hand to our brothers and sisters affected by the recent flooding in their hometown," Rep. Gullas said on Wednesday.

This is not the first time the Philippines was hit by flooding and landslides during the Christmas season.

Shortly before Christmas in 2021, Super Typhoon Odette had hit the south, and left about 9.9 million people in Cebu and its neighboring areas in severe need of assistance.

By January 2022, authorities estimated the death toll from Odette to have reached 407, with 78 individuals missing and more than 1,100 people injured.

Representational image. Tri Le/Pixabay