MANILA, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos on Wednesday placed four regions of the Southeast Asian country under a state of calamity due to the severe tropical storm Nalgae.
Marcos signed the document to put Calabarzon, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) under a six-month state of calamity, where more than 1.4 million people were adversely affected by Nalgae over the weekend.
He said the declaration of a calamity state will hasten the government and private sector's rescue, recovery, relief and rehabilitation efforts and help effectively control the prices of basic necessities and prime commodities.
Nalgae, one of the most destructive cyclones that battered the Philippines, triggered flash floods and landslides in many parts of the country. The government has tallied at least 132 deaths as of Monday.
Marcos also stressed he might include other areas in the declaration of a state of calamity if warranted, taking into consideration the continuing damage assessment in affected areas and based on the recommendation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
Nalgae is the 16th tropical cyclone to lash the Philippines this year. It slammed into Catanduanes, an island province in the Bicol region, before dawn on Saturday.
The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries globally, mainly due to its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire and Pacific typhoon belt. On average, the archipelagic country experiences 20 typhoons yearly, some of which are intense and destructive.
In April, tropical storm Megi dumped rains in central and southern parts of the Philippines, inundating many areas and causing landslides with over 220 deaths. ■