Typhoon Pablo stays the course, wreaks havoc in Central Visayas, parts of Mindanao

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10:59 PM December 4th, 2012

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By: Nikko Dizon, December 4th, 2012 10:59 PM

Strong winds rip off roofs of stalls in a public market in Iligan City in Lanao del Norte as Typhoon ‘Pablo’ batters southern Philippines.  Video by citizen journalist Shadz Karim in Iligan City

MANILA, Philippines—Typhoon Pablo did not veer away from its path, on Tuesday, as earlier reported. The eye of the storm was spotted at 70 kilometers south of Tagbilaran City, Bohol.

According to the weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the mass of winds and rains that typhoon Pablo packed was so big that its expanse of 500 kilometers encompassed Central Visayas.

The earliest report the NDRRMC could gather placed the death toll from the typhoon at four but dispatches from the provincial bureaus of the Philippine Daily Inquirer showed that as many as 42 were killed and 24 were missing in parts of Visayas and Mindanao.

An earlier press statement from the military’s Eastern Mindanao Command said that it received a report that 20 died “due to flashflood” in Brgy. Andap, New Bataan, Compostela Valley.  Latest reports from the Inquirer Mindanao Bureau placed the death toll from the Compostela flashflood alone at 33.

Aside from Erlinda Balante of Manay town, Davao Oriental, and Jigger Gomonit, 30, of Panao, Misamis Oriental, also confirmed dead were Elberto Daniel, 23, of Lazi, Siquijor and First Sgt. Olivarez of the Charlie Company of the 66th Infantry Battalion of the 10th Infantry Division.

Benito Ramos, the NDRRMC chief, said Olivarez was washed away along with his company commander, Lieutenant Deazeta, after a flashflood hit their temporary command post in Barangay Andap at around 3 p.m.

Deazeta was rescued but has remained unconscious, Ramos said. The soldiers’ first names were not yet available as of press time.

Ramos said that it was likely that a platoon, comprised of some 30 soldiers, from the Charlie Company had set up the patrol base to prepare for rescue operations in the area.

The 10th ID has sent additional rescue units to New Bataan and dispatched military trucks to transport rescue teams sent by Regional DRRMC 11 to the affected areas in Compostela Valley, the EastMinCom press statement said.

The military command also reported that there were areas in the province that were experiencing power outages and communication interruptions because of fallen electrical outposts and power lines that were cut because of the typhoon.

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