'Basyang' kills at least 3

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Sunday, February 2, 2014


CEBU CITY -- Tropical Storm Basyang claimed at least three lives in Cebu province, including a man who was on a motor banca that capsized off Poro, Camotes Island.

Only two of the deaths were listed in the national disaster council’s report, which mentioned three deaths, so far, in more than 20 areas that felt Basyang’s gusts and rain.

Basyang arrived a few hours ahead of the forecast, making landfall in Naga City, Cebu around midnight instead of Saturday morning. It was expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility early today (February 2).

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Some 688 families from three cities and five towns in Cebu province were moved out of their homes to evacuation centers last Friday.

Nationwide, at least 18,131 persons or more than 3,300 families were displaced from their homes by the storm, said the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

The storm caused 10 landslides, four floods and one accident at sea -- a motor banca that capsized off Poro Port in Camotes, Cebu at 11 p.m. last January 31.

Commander Rodolfo Villajuan, head of the Philippine Coast Guard’s Cebu Station, identified the man who died as Danny Tundag, 24, whose body was found under the boat, the Ave Maria 5, at 8 a.m.

Shelter

The vessel was supposed to take shelter in San Francisco when it encountered big waves while sailing past 10 p.m. on Friday. Nine of the crew members were rescued when the Coast Guard received the report, Villajuan told Sun.Star Cebu.

In Balamban town, a man was electrocuted while heading home to avoid the storm at Friday dawn. Jose Hadji Babatid, 22, reportedly held on to an electrical post while wading through floodwaters in Barangay Baliwagan, police said.

He decided to walk at the side because the road was flooded.

“Pero wa siya kahibaw grounded diay ‘to iyang nagunitan nga poste (He did not know the post was still live),” said Senior Police Officer 1 Jose Villarino of the Balamban Police Station.

The deaths of Tundag and Babatid were listed in the NDRRMC report as of 6 p.m. Friday.

It has yet to list the death of a 14-year-old boy, who was gathering animal fodder when he was pinned down by a rolling boulder in Samboan town.

Samboan Municipal Mayor Raymond Calderon said that Allan Cris Degino was gathering fodder with other boys when the accident occurred at 11 a.m. yesterday in Barangay Cambigong.

Landslide in Manipis, Talisay City due to Basyang
Tropical storm Basyang triggered landslides in Manipis, Talisay City, one of at least 10 such incidents reported nationwide. (Alex Badayos photo)

Food ready

He was rushed to the Malabuyoc District Hospital, a town next to Samboan, but he died hours later.

The NDRRMC reported another death in Maasin City, Southern Leyte. It said that Dionesio Paler, 66, drowned and was found near the riverbank in Mabini.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Central Visayas region said on Saturday the agency had prepared 5,000 family food packs for Cebu and 1,000 for Bohol.

However, Kerwin Macopia of DSWD-Central Visayas said these food packs can only be released to survivors of calamities after the local government units (LGUs) request for them.

Under the law, he explained, LGUs are mandated to be the first responders during calamities.

As of 6 p.m. Friday, no LGU made any such request, he added.

(The NDRRMC situation report as of last night said that at least P104 million worth of food packs and other relief supplies were ready. No food packs were reported, however, for Central Visayas region.)

At least 688 families from three cities and five towns in Cebu province were moved out of their homes to evacuation centers last Friday.

Reckoning

Hours later, the authorities found that some 20 houses in Barangay Langub, Asturias were damaged and some animals were killed during a flashflood.

Lieutenant Jim Alagao, spokesperson of the Central Command (Centcom), said the flashflood took place at 2 a.m. and swept away eight cows, seven goats and two carabaos.

The Special Forces Team of Centcom based in Balamban went to the area to assist the affected residents, he said.

In Barangay Bago, Alagao said, two landslides occurred near a bridge before going to Tuburan town, which destroyed two houses.

Basyang also triggered landslides in the hillside village of Manipis, Talisay City on Friday night that damaged fewer than twenty houses.

Talisay City Councilor Danny Caballero said no one got hurt after the families evacuated to other houses and a tunnel in Sitio Kampo 5. [READ: For Talisay family, an old tunnel means safety]

The landslides that occurred in three areas blocked the road, but a crew from the Department of Public Works and Highways cleared it before 9 a.m. Saturday.

A watchman was placed to look out for motorists, because there’s a risk that huge boulders in a portion of the hill could fall.

Landslides

Councilor Caballero, when interviewed by Sun.Star Cebu, said the City planned to use a fire truck and spray water on the boulders, to bring these down.

Barangay Manipis, which is undergoing a road widening project, is susceptible to landslides after it was jolted by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake last October 15, he said.

“Mao na kung mag-uwan, mag-landslide dayon kay natandog na man ang yuta (The soil has been loosened, it a landslide occurs every time it rains),” he said.

In Danao City, strong winds struck a Korean family of four aboard a pumpboat. A team of rescuers and the Philippine Coast Guard rescued them.

Neil Angelo Sanchez, head of the Provincial Disaster and Risk-Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC), said Kion No Ga, 55, his wife Kyougae Lee, 52, and their 27-year-old son In Geol Ga were rescued yesterday.

As of 5 p.m., the authorities were still searching for the couple’s 25-year-old son No Geol Ga and three unidentified Filipino boat crew members.

According to the council’s report, Police Officer 1 Janice Bas Deiparine was wounded in her left leg when a galvanized iron sheet flew in her direction, while she was driving her motorcycle on her way home to Talisay City.

Deiparine is now confined at Chong Hua Hospital.

Blocked, cleared

In Asturias town, a landslide blocked the highway in Barangay New Bago. But the road was cleared by a team from the Central Command and deemed passable early Saturday morning.

Flash floods were reported in Talisay City, Minglanilla, San Fernando, Naga City and Carcar City in the first district and Dalaguete town in the second. Also affected were Liloan and Compostela towns in the north and Asturias town.

The water subsided Saturday morning.

As early as 5 a.m. on Saturday, the evacuees started returning to their homes.

No damage or injury caused by Tropical Storm Basyang was reported in the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu.

The City Government of Mandaue evacuated 32 families living along the coast of Barangay Looc hours before the storm hit past 11 p.m. last Friday.

Four families composed of 32 individuals in Barangay Cubacub were also brought to the barangay gym after the water in Butuanon River started to rise.

Surge warning

No evacuation was done in Lapu-Lapu City, but barangay officials were instructed to monitor coastal villages and watch out for storm surges.

Stephen Garcia, an operator at the Lapu-Lapu City Network for Early Response on the Verge of Emergency, said the storm brought torrential rain but it wasn’t strong enough to cause a storm surge.

Arnold Malig-on, an operator at the Bantay Mandaue 161 Command Center, said they did not receive any report of structural damage or untoward incidents.

Personnel of the City Accident Control and Emergency Response Team (Acert) went to Sitio Bohol-Bohol in Looc at 9 p.m. last Friday and urged residents to evacuate.

Robert Tuñacao of Acert said they did not have a hard time convincing the residents to move to safer grounds.

“They were afraid of the possible storm surge,” he said.

Last November 8, a storm surge caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda left more than 6,000 dead and nearly 2,000 missing in Leyte, particularly in Tacloban City and the town of Palo. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 02, 2014.

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