Thursday, July 30, 2009

'Feria' death toll rises to 7

Sibuyan ISLE Exec. Dir. Rod Galicha with an LGU mountain ranger and an IP volunteer in a landslide site in Brgy. Panangcalan during the Typhoon Feria. This is one of the 25 landslides in the municipality of San Fernando.

Cantingas River Resort devastated by strong Cantingas River currecnt in Brgy. Taclobo destroying Cantingas Bridge during the Typhoon Feria.

Ipil River overflowed and destroyed Ipil Bridge in Brgy. Panangcalan. To the right is the town proper of San Fernando which was inundated last year.

THE National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) reported on Thursday that casualties remained low as Tropical Storm Feria moved toward Northern Luzon in preparation for its exit this weekend.

As of Thursday afternoon, the number of deaths was reported at seven, with eight missing and five injured. Most of the deaths were recorded in Quezon province.

In its report, the NDCC identified the fatalities as Roberto Longaza, Ruben Rajas, Boyet Drias, Ryan Brogada, Vicente Layague, Edgar Salida and a certain Renico.

Four of the victims were crew members of a small fishing boat, MB Annabel, that was hit by a tornado while it was anchored at barangay Sanguirin, Perez, Quezon, on Wednesday night.

The NDCC said rescue teams are still searching for eight persons who are missing in Romblon, Sorsogon, Aklan, and in Guiuan and Biliran, both in Eastern Samar.

On Wednesday the council pegged the number of missing at 10, but it said the number went down after two of them, both fishermen, were found alive in Southern Leyte.

On the other hand, the number of damaged houses has breached the 5,000 mark, and these are all in the provinces of Quezon, Batangas, Cavite, Romblon, Masbate, and Eastern and Western Samar.

Meanwhile, reports reaching the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said heavy rains spawned by Feria damaged several infrastructures, closed several major thoroughfares to traffic and triggered landslides.

Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. said among those affected were the Cantingas, Ipil and Ituralba-reinforced concrete girder bridges; Pili, Cansapay and Silum steel bridges and the Cantingas bailey bridge, all along Sibuyan Bay.

All of the bridges have been shut down to traffic.

Ebdane also said that the circumferential road in Sibuyan was closed to vehicles after rains washed out its approaches.

Likewise, the Calatrava-San Agustin-Santa Maria Road in Romblon was also closed to traffic for hours after it was struck by a series of landslides. The same with the Catmon Bridge in Masbate province owing to an eroded approach.

In Central Luzon, Ebdane said the Candaba-San Miguel and the Baliwag-Candaba roads were closed to all types of vehicles owing to flooding, along with the Nueva Ecija-Aurora Road that was hit by a landslide.

In Eastern Visayas, the Sambulawan-Calasigue-Calubian, Lemon-Leyte-Biliran and Bato-Bontoc Roads are also hardly passable owing to landslides.

Fallen trees and rocks also made it hard to pass along the Catbalogan North Road, Catbalogan-Calbiga and Samar-Leyte Roads.

The Kawayan-Clulaba and Caibiran-Cabugayan Roads and the Tucdao, Uson and Telibong bailey bridges, all in Biliran, are also hardly passable due to washed-out and scoured

In Western Visayas, the Arellano Bridge in Panay, Capiz and Bogo Bridge in San Remegio, Antique were also washed out.

In Malabon, flooding also rendered Sanciangco Street and Bustamante Street all the way down to Governor Pascual Avenue impassable to all types of vehicles.

Ebdane ordered maintenance crew to work for the immediate opening of all the affected roads and bridges.

The NDCC said Feria, which entered the country through the Visayas on Monday, affected a total of 172 barangays in 15 regions in the Visayas and Luzon.

It also affected a total of 11,463 families or 53,897 persons as of 12 noon on Thursday.