‘Ompong’ death toll rises to 65
THE death toll in the aftermath of Typhoon “Ompong” rose to 65 on Sunday while scores remained missing, authorities said, as northern Luzon reeled from flooding, landslides and power outages. In Itogon, Benguet, more than 30 people trapped in a collapsed mining bunkhouse that also served as a chapel were feared dead, after seven bodies were recovered by rescuers.
Gov. Manuel Mamba of Cagayan declared a state of calamity in his province, to expedite the release of funds needed to give aid to those who evacuated and repair infrastructure damaged by the typhoon.
It will also automatically freeze the prices of goods in the market, said Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, who assured the public that no price hikes would happen after the typhoon.
Mayor Victorio Palangdan of Itogon said there were 36 dead in his area. Of the number, 27 have
Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Salamat, commander of the military’s Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom), said 43 miners were initially trapped in the Itogon bunkhouse.
number of retrieved cadavers and the operations are still ongoing,” Salamat told TheManilaTimes in a phone interview.
Presidential adviser Francis Tolentino said most of those declared dead were from the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
“There were a lot of casualties in Cordillera, in the areas of Itogon, Benguet and Mountain Province and parts of Baguio... [this was] because of landslides, soil saturation, rainfall,” Tolentino was quoted as saying.
“We’re now ending the searchand-rescue operations. By tomorrow the rehabilitation should commence. Power lines, water must be restored. We condole with the families of those who lost their lives,” Tolentino told President
Zero casualties in Cagayan
Ompong made landfall in Baggao, Cagayan early Saturday as the strongest typhoon to hit the country so far this year.
Mamba said Cagayan had yet to record fatalities due to Ompong.
Tolentino said a family of six was among those killed after their house in Baguio city was buried by a landslide.
A resident in Kalinga also died after a rock fell on him as a result of soil erosion. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
In Nueva Vizcaya, another family of four died Saturday afternoon after their house in a remote barangay was buried in a landslide.
Killed were a 36-year-old father and his three children, one of them aged two years old and the other one, eight months old. Three of the family members went to the evacuation center and were spared from the tragic accident.
In Sta. Lucia, Ilocos Sur, a man was cleaning up debris when a mango tree fell on him. He was pronounced dead on arrival.
138,000 in evac centers
About 138,000 individuals sought shelter in evacuation areas in northern and central Luzon after the onslaught Typhoon Ompong.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said 137,994 individuals or 35,720 families were inside 1,250 evacuation centers in the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, CAR and the National Capital Region on Sunday.
DSWD chief Virginia Orogo said field offices were collaborating with local government units for the profiling of the displaced families. of - - ing of individuals affected by the typhoon to determine additional assistance and services,” she said.
“The department is also monitoring child and womenfriendly spaces in all evacuations centers in Luzon to immediately cater to their needs of assistance,” Orogo added.
About 700 family food packs were delivered in Palayan City and in Dingalan Central School in Aurora Province, while authorities from the Ilocos region provided sleeping kits, family kits, and hygiene kits for affected residents in Mindoro Elementary School.
Emergency communication lines were also established in Tabuk City, Kalinga and Luna Apayao as part of DSWD’s resareas cue operations.
The national government provided P8 million worth of assistance, local governments provided P1 million and nongovernment organizations gave P77,000 worth of aid to the victims in the typhoon-stricken areas, the DSWD said.
President Duterte found the government’s response to Typhoon Ompong “very satisfactory,” Malacañang said on Sunday.
- arao, Cagayan, Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said Duterte lauded the “zero casualty” recorded in Region 2.
“Hopefully, in the next briefing, that will not be changed,” Roque said.
“[ However], we’re sorry there are casualties reported in some parts of the Philippines,” he added.
This was seconded by Tolentino, who was appointed by Duterte last Thursday as his “conduit” for disaster response.
“Preparation [ was] very good [ nationwide],” Tolentino said in a message.
Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go distributed photos of himself and the President conducting an aerial survey of Cagayan.
BEING STRONG A father pushes his son in a basin across a flooded street in the aftermath of Super Typhoon ‘Ompong’ in Calumpit, Bulacan on Sunday.