7 dead, 50,000 flee homes as ‘Pablo’ rages


Power goes off and several roads are rendered impassable due to fallen trees and electricity posts as Typhoon Pablo roars over Mindanao Tuesday. DENNIS JAY SANTOS/INQUIRER

MANILA—Typhoon “Pablo” (international name Bopha) killed at least seven people in the Philippines on Tuesday as the strongest storm to hit the country this year forced more than 50,000 to seek refuge in emergency shelters, officials said.

‘Pablo’ made landfall on the island of Mindanao in the south of the country at dawn, bringing driving rain and packing gusts of up to 210 kilometres (130 miles) an hour that toppled trees and brought down power lines.

Seven people were killed, including an elderly woman who was crushed to death when a tree fell on her house, rescue officials said.  Four fishermen were also reported missing off Mindanao’s east coast, said Freddie Bendulo, planning and development officer of Davao Oriental province.

Winds blew roofs off some buildings and residents of coastal and low-lying communities in Mindanao moved into shelters as floods hit some areas, according to residents and AFP reporters.

More than 53,000 people had moved into nearly 1,000 government shelters by early Tuesday, the civil defence office said.

A total of 145 flights to and from Mindanao and the central islands had been grounded since Monday night and more than 3,000 ferry passengers were stranded as vessels were ordered to stay in port, the civil defence office said.

Large parts of Mindanao, which is not normally hit by typhoons, were without electricity after power was cut to reduce the risk of fires and electrocutions, said Liza Mazo, a regional civil defence official.

People living in the path of the storm did what they could to protect their homes and possessions.

“We have taken our pigs and chickens inside our house because their shed might be destroyed,” 46-year-old shopkeeper Marianita Villamor from the farming town of San Fermin on Mindanao’s east coast told AFP by telephone.

Villamor said her relatives who lived in a nearby coastal area had joined hundreds of other families who moved into temporary shelters including schools and other government buildings late Monday.

In Tagum, a city of 243,000 people, hotel waiter Edgie Atilano, 23, said he and his family hunkered down in their home as Bopha bore down.

“At 3:00 am we were woken by strong rain and howling winds. Trees and branches started snapping off near the house,” said the father-of-two, who added that nearby roads were blocked with fallen trees.

“This is my first time to experience a strong typhoon. It was a bit scary,” he added.

The commercial centre of Cagayan de Oro, a city of 600,000 people, was hit by flooding as rivers overflowed.

City mayor Vicente Emano said on ABS-CBN television that police rounded up all residents of low-lying areas Tuesday and moved them to government shelters.

“There were people who refused to leave their homes yesterday. Now those areas are under code red (flood risk) so I ordered the police to go and force them to leave because these areas could soon be flooded,” Emano added.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.


    Typhoons have changed directions. Why is Mindanao hit by typhoons?

    • magiting78

      No one can tell, its natural calamity

  • OZpinoyPHD

    This is an unusual typhoon as it has developed very near the equator. It is also unusual because, it is the second year in a row that Mindanao has been directly hit by a typhoon. If it becomes a yearly phenomenon, climate change is a likely cause.

  • $18209031

    Tingnan nyo ang gobyerno mahina yan tutulong sa Mindanao at Bisayas pagkatapos.  Nandoon lahat ang pera sa mga kamay ng tagalegs.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VYOIJWB3T5AQZVG4JRRQHCU2BI John

    Consider this typhoon as a Blessing to Philippines, first most of the affected places will built their homes again so economy will be moving, all the rebel areas are wipe out so they will be lay low for a while kaya happy ang AFP. Then the best of all will be the Chinese conquerors in the West China Sea will be wipe out and that will be the time for them to think twice if they are still hardheaded to steal our territory, yan mga barko ng Intsik ay ilulubog yan ni Pabling. Somebody up there watching us.

  • Commentator

    I think the inquirer should put the location on what part of Mindanao where the picture above is. Mindanao is big and pictures can tell a lot of story especially to people who have relatives there.

  • otoling

    Dahil kay Pablo maaring lumutang na si Ecleo sa pagtatago sa bundok ng Surigao.  Lilitaw at lilitaw si Ecleo sa Biernes.

  • East_Islander

    In CDO, the Executive Committee for the coordinating body between the LGU of CDO and Misamis Oriental is Archbishop Antonio Ledesma. Under its committee are various national offices such as DSWD, DOH, and NGOs such as UNICEF, OXFAM and IOM. Reality is, Church and State go side by side in addressing pressing concerns of our country such as this. No one can deny that even the government. Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan turns into a evacuation center, chapels and parishes in far-flung areas turn into evacuation centers as LGU had difficulty in accessing those areas.

  • melanioamarillo

    The Philippines is a favorite playing fields of typhoons. Pablo was and is the latest to visit the playground. Hopefully, leaving minor damage,  but the garbage.

  • delpillar

    Typhoon Pablo’ info as of 8:00PM Phil Time

    Location at: Somewhere along the National Road in between the town of Zamboanguita and of Siaton, NEGROS Oriental
    Latitude: 9 deg 10 min
    Longtitude: 122 deg 55 min
    Barometric Pressure: 975 Hecto-Pascal
    Direction and Speed: West-NorthWest  at 30 km/h
    Max Wind: 35 meters/sec
    Gust: 50 meters/sec

  • Malik62

    The Aquino-Cojuangco curse at work again!

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