Landslide-prone area in Albay
ALBAY, Philippines – The Albay Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) recorded a number of landslides in the aftermath of tropical depression Usman and the onset of a low-pressure area over the weekend.
In Barangay Sugod in the municipality of Tiwi, three persons were killed in a landslide that damaged their home.
Witnesses recalled that the victims, a family of three, were about to evacuate the house when the incident happened.
“Pagkatapos pa lang lang daw kumain tapos papaalis na kasi kukuha nalang ng gamit,” said Aljohn Bragais, one of the witnesses.
According to the Office of the Civil Defense Regional Director-5 Claudio Yucut, survivors in the area said they did not expect a landslide would occur in their area.
But the official said they have been reminding the residents to leave and evacuate to safety even prior to the weather system.
But since the house of the victims has been there for three decades, they became complacent. It was too late for them to evacuate.
“Hindi inasahan ng mga tao dito na lalakas ang ulan dahil nag-kumpiyansa sila na lifted na ang tropical depression. Mahina lang naman ang tropical cyclone warning signal,” the official said.
Some of the volunteers were injured during the retrieval operations for the three victims.
“Nakuha ang victim dyan masusurvive sana kaso habang hinuhukay nila nag-landslide ulit ang volunteer rescuer na-injured,” recalled Tiwi, Albay Kagawad Cristeto Cuati Jr.
Aside from Barangay Sugod, nine more casualties were recorded in other parts of the municipality due to landslide.
A family was also killed in Barangay San Francisco in Legaspi City on Saturday after a wall collapsed into their house.
The victims were identified as Mauro Alegre (26); Mia Lorete (20); and Marco Alegre (3).
According to the mother of the victims who survived the incident, it was midnight when the wall collapsed.
“Ang bilis-bilis ng pangyayari nang makita ko wala na talaga sila. Bumagsak na iyong lupa nadaganan na yung tatlo,” Aling Lina said.
Aling Lina is calling for financial assistance from the local government following the incident.
“Lahat ng gamit namin ay ubos pati mga damit wala na. Kami pati mga gamit sa bahay wala na hindi ko alam pagkatapos nito saan kami tutuloy,” she lamented.
The entire province of Albay is now under a state of calamity.
The local government vows to provide the needs of the residents affected by the weather disturbances. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Joan Nano)
‘Usman’ death toll hits 80 – NDRRMC
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The number of fatalities from tropical depression ‘Usman’ has hit 80 according to the latest report from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
Meanwhile, 40 persons were recorded inured while 20 individuals remain missing.
However, the NDRRMC is on the process of verifying the figures from authorities on the ground. – UNTV News and Rescue
Tacloban City to begin preemptive evacuation ahead of ‘Usman’
Tacloban City LGU preparing for the expected landfall of Tropical Depression Usman
TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – The local government of Tacloban City will open 71 evacuation centers prior to the expected landfall of tropical depression ‘Usman’ on Friday (December 28).
Aside from this, Brando Bernadas of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) confirmed that the LGU has prepared at least 5,000 food packs for families who will be affected by the cyclone as part of the LGU’s preparedness efforts.
“Nag-target tayo based on historical profile ng 5,000 families na ma-affected ng emergency evacuation operation natin. Hindi malakas ang bagyong ito pero ano’t ano pa man naghahanda tayo para sa displacement ng 5,000 families,” the Tacloban CDRRMO head said.
Bernadas added that the city’s emergency operation center has already been activated.
All emergency response equipment is in position while emergency responders are already on standby and will be on duty until ‘Usman’ departs from the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR).
“Ina-anticipate natin kasi kung Eastern Samar ang target matatamaan din ang Tacloban ng buntot ng bagyo at minsan mas malakas pa dito kaysa sa sentro,” Bernadas said.
Residents, meanwhile, preferred to pack their things ahead of the notice from the local government.
They said they will leave right away once the evacuation centers open especially if strong winds and high waves begin to manifest.
“Kapag lumakas na ang hangin lilikas na kami doon sa paaralan tapos hinahakot na namin ang aming mga gamit,” Anibong resident Susan Bituin said.
“Natatakot ako siempre baka magaya noong (bagyong) Yolanda. Ang mga gamit namin wala na rito, naka-safety na. May mga damit na lang kami na isusuot pero iyong iba safety na,” resident Purisa Dela Peña.
The local government constantly reminds residents to be alert and heed to authorities’ call so as not to be harmed by the upcoming cyclone. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Archyl Egano)
Coast Guard suspends trips of all sea vessels in areas affected by TD ‘Usman’
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard has ordered the suspension of trips of all sea vessels in the Bicol Region due to the effects of tropical depression ‘Usman’.
The order covers all types of vessels and watercrafts plying the routes to and from Sorsogon, Masbate and Ticao Island in Luzon; Northern Samar, Samar, Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Northern Cebu and Camotes Island in Visayas; and Dinagat Island in Mindanao.
The order takes effect on Thursday (December 27).
The PCG-Surigao also suspended all sea travels from Surigao City in Surigao del Norte.
Meanwhile, bus operations with RoRo trips crossing areas placed under Signal Number 1 were also suspended, according to a directive from Chairman Martin Delgra of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
The PCG said all trips will resume once the weather and sea condition improves in the affected areas. – Marje Pelayo