6 major landslides in Biliran; death toll rising

THE death toll from Tropical Storm Urduja (international name: Kai-tak) in Biliran, Eastern Visayas is expected to rise, with more than 30 persons still missing after six landslides were reported across the province.

Sofronio Dacillo Jr., head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), said in a telephone interview that rescue operations were ongoing Monday morning, December 18.

As of 10 a.m. Monday, the death toll stood at 23 while 13 people were reported injured and more than 30 others reported missing.

In Barangay Lucsoon in Naval, provincial capital of Biliran Island, seven bodies buried under mud and rocks have been recovered as of 6 a.m. Monday. Eighteen other members of at least five families were believed to be still buried at the site.

“We are hoping that we will still be able to rescue some people in the area,” Dacillo said.

Dacillo said the Lucsoon tragedy was one of “six major landslides” in the aftermath of Urduja.

Several people were also reported to have perished in a landslide in Barangay Macalpi in Caibiran town, according to a post by Facebook account Biliran Island.

Based on a list posted by Biliran Island, and confirmed by the local disaster council, the fatalities in Barangay Lucsoon were identified as: Inday Caliao, 56; Alina Caliao, 7; John Carlo Caliao, 12; Edgar Batister, 47; Mary Jean Batister, 45; Kevin Batister, 9; and Napoleon Cadion, 37.

Also on the list were four fatalities in Sitio Barubuhan, Barangay Iyusan, Almeria: Jimmy Jorge, 2; Winnie Garbo, 55; Wilma Garbo, 12; and Maribeth Garbo, 50. (Marites Villamor-Ilano/SunStar Philippines)
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