A man who went back to the ricefield to check on his cows at the height of severe tropical storm “Maring” in Luna, La Union apparently drowned and became the typhoon’s 41st fatality, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported Tuesday, Oct. 19.
The NDRRMC said that Jessie Castillo was found dead on a ricefield in Brgy. Suyo last Oct. 15 after several days of search and retrieval operation.
He was among the six persons who were previously reported as missing in La Union due to Maring, which is now regarded as one of the deadliest and most destructive typhoons to hit the country this year.
Accordingly, Castillo “went back to the ricefields to check [on] his cows [in] Brgy. Sto Domingo, Norte but failed to return.”
Authorities believed that Castillo must have drowned when the waters in the ricefield suddenly rose as Maring dumped heavy rains in northern Luzon.
In total, the NDRRMC has recorded 24 confirmed deaths while 17 others were still being validated.
A total of 14 deaths were listed in Ilocos Sur, nine in Benguet, seven in Pangasinan, five in Palawan, three in Cagayan, two in La Union, and one in Ilocos Norte.
Of those who died, 22 either drowned or got swept by flashflood, 14 were killed due to landslides, one was electrocuted, while the cause of death of four others have yet to be confirmed.
Meanwhile, there were also 17 missing individuals — five each in Ilocos Sur and La Union, four in Palawan, and one each in Ilocos Norte, Cagayan, and Benguet.
Maring has registered a total of P2.2 billion worth of agricultural damage and P1.9 billion losses in infrastructure in just five days of devastation, beginning when it developed into a tropical depression and given a name on Oct. 7 until it exited the Philippine Are of Responsibility (PAR) on Oct. 12.