‘Om­pong’ death toll rises to 65

Manila Times - - Front Page - BY DEMPSEY REYES

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.

Palace sat­is­fied

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.

AFP PHOTO

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.

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