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The first storm in the Philippines in 2024 kills seven people; Marcos awards P600M to Aghon victims

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The first storm in the Philippines in 2024 kills seven people;  Marcos awards P600M to Aghon victims

By means of Kyle Aristophere T. Atienz, News reporter

AT LEAST seven people were killed in the onslaught of Typhoon Aghon, the first storm to hit the Philippines this year, as President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. set aside more than 600 million euros to help some 36,000 victims, authorities said Tuesday.

At 5pm on Tuesday, the typhoon was sighted 535 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes north of the capital Manila, with sustained winds of up to 130 km per hour (kph) and gusts of up to 160 km per hour.

In its situational report, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said a 14-year-old woman from Misamis Oriental died after strong winds toppled a tree. Another student was injured.

In a separate report, Reuters quoted police Major Elizabeth Capistrano as telling local radio station DWPM that there had been six deaths as a result of Aghon, including two men who drowned.

The NDRRMC said another eight people were injured and 36,143 people or 12,436 families in Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas and Metro Manila were negatively affected by Aghon’s weekend rampage.

It also reported that 16,426 people or 4,076 families sought temporary shelter in evacuation centers, while 5,614 other displaced residents remained with friends or relatives as waters rose in many areas.

Before leaving for Brunei on Tuesday morning, Mr Marcos said the social protection agency had already distributed 1.35 million euros in aid to typhoon victims.

The government has also put 841 search and rescue teams from the Philippine Army, Coast Guard and Fire Department on standby, said the president, who is currently on a two-day state visit to Brunei.

More than 400 transport vehicles and 400 emergency telecommunications equipment would be used for relief efforts, he said.

Aghon affected 60 seaports, 13 of which were still not operational as of 8 a.m., according to the NDRRMC, which reported that the number of stranded passengers had reached 400.

It said 11 domestic flights and one international flight have been canceled so far.

The NDRRMC said the government provided P3.66 million in assistance to the affected families.

PAGASA, meanwhile, reported that Aghon is unlikely to bring significant rainfall directly over the next three days.

However, the southwesterly wind will bring moderate to heavy rainfall over Western Visayas and western parts of Northern, Central and Southern Luzon until Friday.

“Now that all hoisted wind signals have been lifted, any potential impacts from Aghon’s strong winds within the forecast period become unlikely.”