(Photo courtesy of DSWD Region 2)

MANILA – The number of families affected by Severe Tropical Storm Florita has reached 17,510, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Friday.

The NDRRMC's latest situation report said these families are equivalent to 71,468 persons in 438 barangays (villages) in Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), and the National Capital Region.

Meanwhile, around 776 families or around 3,700 individuals are sheltering in 37 evacuation centers with the remainder being aided by relatives and friends.

The number of confirmed fatalities remains at two -- one each in Cagayan Valley and CAR while the number of confirmed injuries is at three in Cagayan Valley.

Reports of one death and one injured in Bicol are still being validated.

Damaged houses were placed at 33 -- 30 partially damaged and three totally damaged in Ilocos Region and Cagayan Valley.

Agriculture damage was estimated at PHP3.4 million in Ilocos Region while infrastructure damage in Ilocos Region and Cagayan Valley has reached some PHP33.7 million.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Army (PA) on Thursday night said its reservists from the 202nd Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion, 2nd Regional Community Defense Group rescued families affected by flooding amid the onslaught of "Florita" in Isabela on August 24.

"Reservists, hand in hand with local responders, saved families affected by floods in Tumauini, Isabela," PA spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad said.

He added that PA ready reserve units are also continuing relief efforts for typhoon-stricken families in Isabela and Cagayan provinces.

Trinidad also said reservists from the 201st Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion are now in the second wave of repacking essential items at the Department of Social Welfare and Development warehouse in Tuguegarao City.

They will also assist in the distribution of aid to typhoon-stricken families in Cagayan province.

"In the neighboring province of Isabela, reservists and Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets from the 202nd Community Defense Center and 202nd Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion repacked and distributed more than 3,000 bags of essential items to typhoon-stricken communities in San Pablo and Santo Tomas towns," Trinidad added.

He said the PA has prioritized the development of a capable, readily deployable, and well-capacitated reserve force that will effectively complement active troops and will serve as an expansion base for the military in times of war, rebellion, invasion or other national emergencies. (PNA)