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‘Emong’ leaves 26 fatalities in north Luzon


Inquirer Northern Luzon
First Posted 03:01:00 05/09/2009

Filed Under: Weather, Disasters (general), Landslide, Flood

BAGUIO CITY?Typhoon ?Emong? roared out of the country on Friday after pounding northern Luzon in a destructive sweep that killed at least 26 people.

The typhoon unleashed 150 kilometer-per-hour winds that triggered landslides and flash floods, with 16 deaths occurring in Pangasinan province. Nine people were killed in Ifugao province and one perished in Bataan province.

?Our town was like a war zone the morning after the typhoon. Trees and other debris were strewn on our roads,? said Mayor Nestor Pulido of the hard-hit Anda town in Pangasinan.

As of 5 p.m. Friday, Emong (international codename: Chan Hom) had weakened into a tropical depression as it moved farther away from the country.

But Metro Manila and parts of Luzon and Visayas can still expect some rains over the weekend, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.

It said Emong had been located at 360 km east of Tuguegarao City Friday afternoon, packing reduced winds of 55 kilometers per hour and was moving northeast at 11 kph.

In Ifugao, home of the world famous rice terraces, nine people were killed as mudslides crushed houses. Eighty percent of roads in the province were closed due to the slides, according to Gov. Teodoro Baguilat Jr.

State of calamity

The provincial board declared western Pangasinan under a state of calamity. Covered were Anda, Bolinao, Burgos, Agno, Infanta, Bani, Mabini, Sual, Dasol and Alaminos City.

The declaration meant the provincial government could use its calamity fund to rehabilitate the affected areas.

Fourteen of the 16 deaths in Pangasinan occurred in four towns on Thursday night.

They included three children belonging to the Aspa family. The three were with their parents in a makeshift house for fishpen caretakers when it was blown away by strong winds.

Deaths in Bolinao

The children fell into the water and were swept by the currents.

In Bolinao town, six residents were confirmed dead. They included a man who was killed when his house collapsed, another man hit in the head by flying debris, a man hit by a falling rock and another man who died of a heart attack when his house was blown away.

Two fishermen drowned while watching over a fish cage.

Ten others were missing in Bolinao.

Bolinao Vice Mayor Elias Quisay said about 70 percent of the houses in the town were damaged.

Ravaged Anda

In Anda, Pulido said almost all of the 25,000 fruit-bearing mango trees were uprooted and milkfish and other cultured fishes worth millions of pesos were washed to the sea.

He said almost 90 percent of houses lost their roofs.

Emong?s strong winds also blew away the roofs of the Catholic church and a government-owned hotel at Barangay Lucap, gateway to the Hundred Islands National Park, in Alaminos City, Mayor Hernani Braganza said.

Ifugao slides

In Ifugao, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said Ayra Grace Daang, 15, and her sisters Marife, 13, and Vency Mae, 10, were killed when their house in Kiangan town was buried in a landslide.

Their brother was missing while parents Valentino and Daisy Daang and in-law Cheche Marcelo were injured.

Five people were killed when landslides buried three houses in Barangay Dumang Linda, also in Kiangan.

In Hingyon town, the driver of a rice delivery truck was killed after it rolled off a mountain road.

In the capital town Lagawe, an elderly couple was missing when their house was buried by a landslide.

Collapsed span

The OCD in San Fernando City in La Union said one man was killed after being hit by a flying galvanized iron sheet.

A span of Lanog Bridge linking Bagabag town in Nueva Vizcaya province and Lamut town in Ifugao collapsed.

In Isabela province, almost all work animals, like cows and carabaos (water buffalos), in San Mateo town drowned when the town river overflowed.

In Baguio City, the cold winds and heavy rains as early as 4 p.m. on Thursday kept residents indoors. But residents woke to a sunny Friday morning. Frank Cimatu, Gabriel Cardinoza, Yolanda Sotelo, Vincent Cabreza, Elmer Kristian Dauigoy, Villamor Visaya Jr. and Peter La Julian, Inquirer Northern Luzon; and Greg Refraccion, Inquirer Central Luzon



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