17 dead as Lando lingers

Jaime Laude - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Typhoon Lando swept across northern Philippines, killing at least 17 people and affecting over 200,000 as trees, power lines and walls were toppled and floodwaters spread far from riverbeds.

Officials fear the death toll may rise after Lando (international name Koppu) tore through Luzon on Sunday, leaving several remote towns and villages isolated due to flashfloods and toppled trees blocking roads.

As of yesterday, the Office of Civil Defense said the typhoon affected at least 49,096 families or 244,921 individuals. Field reports also showed that at least 17 people died during the onslaught of the typhoon.

In the Cordillera region, three residents in Tinoc town in Ifugao were buried alive in a landslide. The fatalities were identified as Antonio Pallay, 61, who was retrieved below his house in Barangay Ahin; Richard Basilio, 37, in Barangay Dinablayan and a certain Lando in Barangay Dalipey. Police also found the body of Ryan Biglay, 22, floating in Abra River.

Most areas in Baguio City also suffered power outage due to toppled electric posts, affecting telecommunication lines.

In Subic, Zambales, Benita Famanilay, 52, of Barangay Asinan died after a wall near her shanty collapsed due to strong winds brought by the typhoon.

In Isabela, cascading waters released from the seven gates of Magat dam in Ramon town flooded eight towns and two cities. The reservoir reached a meter over its critical spilling level of 193 meters yesterday morning.?Seven bridges, including two in the capital of Ilagan City and one in Cauayan City, were submerged by river waters, isolating at least 20 barangays, according to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. Hectares of rice and corn farmlands about to be harvested this month were also submerged.

Ilagan City Mayor Josemarie Diaz said the city council has declared a state of calamity to speed up rescue and relief efforts in affected villages.

Three people went missing after being swept by rampaging waters of swollen rivers in Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela and Abra.

Six-year-old Renai Tuliao remained missing after being swept along Bato River in Barangay Sto. Domingo, Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya on Sunday. The boy and his elder brother Maverick, 11, were reportedly playing near the river after being left by their parents in the care of their grandmother. Maverick was rescued by residents.

In Tumauini, Isabela, Jonathan Cadangyao, 29, was swept away by the swollen Pinacanauan River while trying to retrieve his carabao Sunday morning.

In Abra, rescuers are searching for 24-year-old Ryan Tiglay who was swept along the Tineg River shortly before dawn in Barangay Caganayan, Tineg during the onslaught of the typhoon. Tiglay reportedly went to the river to gather fish in his fishtrap.

In Pangasinan, the towns of Labrador, Bugallon, Mangatarem and Aguilar experienced flashfloods yesterday. However, rescue teams had a hard time penetrating some affected areas due to continuous strong winds and water flow.

Three people also died while three were injured. One-year-old Jan Kerby Capena of Bolinao died after a mango tree fell on his house. Mauro Nuerong, 75, of Mangatarem also died after a santol tree fell on his house, while Regina Sabanagan, 80, of Bayambang died after she slipped on the floor.

Many towns in the province had no power since Saturday night because strong winds had toppled electric posts. Authorities said the lack of power might last a few days.

In Quezon City, two people died and three others were injured on Sunday after a big ipil-ipil tree collapsed on three shanties due to strong winds.

Aaron Castillo, 14, and Maria Esper Palparan, 49, were inside their houses at the Bureau of Forestry Development Compound in Barangay Central when the tree fell on their shanties.

Castillo had an evisceration wound after a branch of the tree smashed on his abdomen. Castillo was rushed to East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC) but he died during treatment, according to Myke Marasigan, officer-in-charge of the disaster control division of the Quezon City’s Department of Public Order and Safety.

Palparan died due to severe fracture on her pelvic area a few hours after she was extricated from her house at around 6 p.m.

The relatives of Castillo, Arnel and Ronnie, also suffered ambulatory wounds while a three-year-old boy suffered fractures on his left leg. They were also brought to EAMC for treatment.

Sea mishaps

Typhoon Lando also caused sea mishaps. This included the capsizing of passenger boat M/B Tawash in Iloilo-Guimaras Strait Sunday afternoon that left seven people dead and two missing.

The passenger pumpboat, owned by Visitacion Golatera, left for Jordan Wharf in Guimaras from the Ortiz Wharf in Iloilo City around 4:15 p.m. A few minutes later, gale and huge waves pummeled the boat while it was sailing more than a kilometer from the city wharf. Other passenger boats along with PCG personnel immediately sailed to rescue.

Lt. Junior Grade Edison Diaz, acting station commander of PCG lloilo Station, identified the fatalities as Cora Ganila, 40; siblings Mark Real Matta, 6, and Luke Shile Matta, 10, of Lapuz, Iloilo City; Darrly Cristine Vasquez, 15, of Barangay Constancia, San Lorenzo, Guimaras; and Mary Ann Gallego of Nueva Valencia, Guimaras.

Boat engineer Larry Abella, 54, and crew Ruben Gania, 59, both residents of Barangay Rizal in Jordan, Guimaras also died.

The PCG said 32 persons, including boat captain Donald Golatera and crew Randy Zaldivar and Fernando Aniban, were rescued.

As of yesterday, passengers CJ Gamotea and Shyne Matta were still missing. Search and rescue operation was ongoing.

In another incident, Malaysian-flagged motor tugboat Many Plus-1 with the barge AZ Shanghai in tow was dragged from its anchoring position, while the barge ran aground less than 100 meters from the bay walk along Roxas Boulevard in Manila.

The tugboat, owned by Highline Shipping SDN of Malaysia, was manned by 10 foreign crew members composed of Malaysian, Indonesian and Myanmar nationals and was skippered by Chia Guan Choon.

Many Plus-1 and AZ Shanghai reportedly arrived at quarantine anchorage at 2 p.m. of Oct. 16 from Indonesia carrying 7,500 tons of coal.

There are no reports of oil spill. Malayan Towage is reportedly on stand by to extract the Many Plus-1 and AZ Shanghai.

Philippine Coast Guard-National Capital Region commander Commodore Joel Garcia reportedly has given instructions that before the vessels are extracted, divers should first check if the hulls would be damaged if dragged. Divers should also assess if there is a need to lessen the load of the barge before extraction.

Another vessel, the roll-on roll-off vessel M/V Mary the Queen from Bataan, was dragged close to Manila Bay.

“We are still checking if there are any crew onboard the M/V Mary the Queen because based on the information we got, it was undergoing repairs when it was carried by strong winds close to the Manila Bay,” PCG spokesman Commander Armand Balilo said.

In Real, Quezon, the PCG rescued four passengers from the capsized motor fishing boat 3 Brothers. The boat was sailing back to Ungos, Real when it was battered by rough seas.

Last Friday evening, a passing passenger vessel M/V Filipinas Dinagat rescued the 28 passengers and crew of M/B Mansan in Cebu. Bad sea conditions damaged the boat’s outrigger.

The M/B Mansan, suspected to be an undocumented vessel and should not have been carrying passengers, reportedly left Bohol without seeking clearance from the PCG at around 8 p.m. Friday. At around 11 p.m. upon reaching Liloan, Cebu, the boat was damaged and capsized.

In Tawi-Tawi, motorboat M/L J-Rem capsized off Simunul Island at around 10:40 a.m. last Sunday due to strong winds and big waves spawned by the typhoon.

Naval Forces Western Mindanao chief Commodore Premitivo Gopo said due to the big waves, the boat drifted, with the passengers and crew clinging on its side, from Sibutu Passage to South Ubian Island.

Navy Patrol Gunboat 383 spotted the boat and rescued at least 15 passengers and crew about 17 nautical miles in South Ubian more than two hours after the boat capsized. The survivors were brought to Simunul Island where they were given first aid.

In Bataan, the three missing fishermen from Abucay town were found safe in the mangrove farm of a coastal village of Samal town, 18 hours after they were reported missing by their relatives early Sunday morning.

The fishermen were identified as brothers Cesar, 42, Avito, 40, and Joseph, 22, all surnamed Emia.

According to Herbert Vianzon, Abucay town administrator, the fishermen sailed around 1 a.m. of Oct. 18. Their motorboat had an engine problem and encountered big waves. The fishermen took refuge in a mangrove farm in Samal.

Lando weakens but lingers in Philippines

After leaving a trail of destruction in the country, slow-moving Typhoon Lando further weakened yesterday but it will linger in the country until the weekend and continue to bring heavy to intense rains over Northern and Central Luzon, the state weather bureau said.

As of 5 p.m. yesterday, Lando was traversing the coastline of the Ilocos provinces, bringing heavy rains and strong winds, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.

As of 4 p.m., the eye of Lando was spotted at 45 km west southwest of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, packing winds of 105 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 135 kph.

It was moving north-northeast at a pace of five kph, slower than the average jogging speed of eight kph.

As of 5 p.m., public storm warning signal No. 2 was still up in Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, Apayao, Kalinga, Mountain Province and Cagayan including Calayan and Babuyan group of Islands.

Signal No. 1 remained hoisted over La Union, Pangasinan, Ifugao, Benguet, Batanes, Isabela, Quirino, Aurora, Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Tarlac and Pampanga.

PAGASA said storm warning signals elsewhere were lifted.

Occasional rains and gusty winds will be experienced over provinces under signal No. 1, while those under signal No. 2 will have stormy weather.

PAGASA weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio continued to warn the public against possible flashfloods and landslides due to the saturated soil. Storm surge of up to two meters is also likely to affect provinces under storm signals.

Fisherfolk were cautioned against going out to the seaboards of Luzon and the Visayas due to big waves generated by Lando and the northeast monsoon.

Aurelio said Lando is expected to exit landmass of Cagayan-Ilocos Norte area today.

But Aurelio said Lando will continue to bring moderate to heavy to occasionally intense rains over Northern and Central Luzon, particularly the western section, until tomorrow evening.

He said a high-pressure area over the West Philippine Sea and the tropical cyclone with international name Champi over the Pacific Ocean were causing the slow movement of Lando. With Helen Flores, Evelyn Macairan, Roel Pareño, Eva Visperas, Raffy Viray, Raymond Catindig, Ramon Efren Lazaro, Jennifer Rendon, Victor Martin, Cesar Ramierz, Ric Sapnu, Artemio Dumlao, Danny Dangcalan


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