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2 electrocuted in Ruby aftermath

Michelle Zoleta (The Philippine Star) - December 11, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Even as many parts of the Visayas and Southern Luzon were without electricity in the aftermath of Typhoon Ruby, two people died of electrocution last Tuesday in Quezon province after accidentally making contact with live wire from toppled electric posts.

Mark Anthony Macabuhay, 21, of Pitogo, Quezon was electrocuted while clearing branches of trees outside his home, while 14-year-old Delson Portin died after accidentally stepping on a live wire in Pagbilao, according to provincial police chief Senior Superintendent Ronaldo Genaro Ylagan.

Despite the deaths, the military’s southern command – which includes Quezon – said preparations ahead of the onslaught of Ruby (international name Hagupit) had saved lives and minimized damage to properties.

Although Sorsogon and Masbate were battered heavily by Ruby, there were no casualties in the two Southern Luzon provinces.

“Disaster Response Units (DRU) with the PNP and other partner agencies conducted information dissemination to coastal barangays using loud speakers,” said Lt Fernando, Civil-Military Officer of the 31st Infantry Battalion in Sorsogon. “It is very effective and can be considered as one of the best practices in preparation for a typhoon.”

Col. Cesar Idio, commander of the 903rd Infantry Brigade in Sorsogon, said preemptive and forced evacuation, especially in coastal areas, saved lives even as three- to five-meter high storm surges washed away nine houses on Dec. 7 in Bulusan.

Albay and Catanduanes also reported zero casualty, with disaster response units attending to the needs of displaced families at evacuation centers.

Col. Raul Farnacio, commander of the 901st Infantry Brigade, said coordination between local officials, particularly governors, was key to effective disaster response.

“Cluster approach of all agencies is a good template in a response plan,” he said.

“We felt the bayanihan spirit during the preparations for the supposed landfall of Typhoon Ruby in Calapan City,” said 203rd Infantry Brigade Commander Col. Mariano Antonio Perez Jr.

ALBAY AND CATANDUANES ALTHOUGH SORSOGON AND MASBATE CALAPAN CITY CESAR IDIO CIVIL-MILITARY OFFICER DELSON PORTIN DISASTER RESPONSE UNITS INFANTRY BRIGADE QUEZON TYPHOON RUBY
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