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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesWednesday, February 8, 2012
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Official death toll 22,
but 82 still not found

At least 22 people have been confirmed dead in Negros Oriental following the Magnitude 6.9 earthquake that rocked Dumaguete City, and other parts of the province Monday.

Scores of people were also reported missing and government and private groups are working round-the-clock to hopefully recover those believed buried in landslides in Guihulngan City and La Libertad.

As of 2:30 p.m. yesterday, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, chaired by Governor Roel Degamo, officially placed the death toll at 22, with 12 in Guihulngan City, three in Jimalalud, three in Bindoy, one in Manjuyod and three in Tayasan.

Earlier Tuesday, reports reaching the 302nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army had placed the number of deaths at 48 based on information provided them by the local government units. However, the figures were reduced after the Philippine Army learned that not all believed dead in various towns and cities were accounted for.

Col. Francisco Patrimonio, commander of the 302nd Brigade, said that without a “body count”, those still missing until today ought not to be reported as “dead” while search and rescue operations continue.

The PDRRMC report said 82 people were reported missing, including 40 in Barangay Planas, Guihulngan and 42 in Barangay Solonggon, La Libertad due to landslides that buried several houses following the earthquake and its aftershocks that left at least 70 families affected.

On infrastructure, three bridges were rendered impassable, like, those in Martilo in La Libertad; Pangaluan Bridge in Jimalalud and Tinayunan Bridge in Guihulngan.

The PDRRMC also reported that 11,576 families were displaced by the earthquake, with 34 totally and 89 partially damaged houses.

An initial estimate of P632-million damaged in infrastructures is broken down as P230 million in bridges; public works, P55 million; roads, P242 million; and waterworks, P105 million.

Previous reports on the higher number of deaths, were based on unverified reports from other sources, as such reports include those considered “missing”.*JFP

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