‘Rosita’ leaves 13 dead, many still missing | Inquirer News

‘Rosita’ leaves 13 dead, many still missing

/ 05:32 AM November 01, 2018

MASSIVE LANDSLIDE Government engineer Junel Emengga says a massive landslide and big boulders came rolling down the mountain, demolishing the DPWH buildings at Barangay Banawel in Natonin town and entombing workers inside at the height of the typhoon’s onslaught on Tuesday.—CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

BAGUIO CITY — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) did not realize its buildings in Natonin town, Mountain Province, were at risk until Tuesday when a massive landslide dragged its municipal engineering office compound along with more than 20 people who had taken shelter there.

Typhoon “Rosita” (international name: Yutu) slammed into Luzon without the anticipated wind strength and rain delivered by Typhoon “Ompong” in September, but its impact was just as traumatic.


Rosita made landfall in Dinapigue town, Isabela province, on Tuesday with winds of 140 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 230 kph—half the strength of the storm packed five days earlier, when it struck the US Northern Mariana Islands.


Thirteen people were confirmed dead in Mountain Province, Ifugao and Kalinga, some of them from the landslide in Natonin.

Five evacuees and dozens of laborers, an engineer and security guards were inside three DPWH buildings at Barangay Banawel on Tuesday when the landslide hit between 4 and 5 p.m., according to Rustom Martinez, head of the DPWH-Mountain Province second district engineering office.

The workers were constructing building annexes when Rosita struck. Neighboring structures fell along with the DPWH buildings when the mountain road collapsed.

Demolished, entombed

“It was a massive landslide, and boulders also came rolling down from the mountain. The buildings got demolished and entombed,” government engineer Junel Emengga told The Associated Press (AP) by phone from the site of the landslide.

In a statement, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said “we pray for the rescue of those still trapped or missing.”


Volunteers rescued five survivors, identified as Joventino Lamawen, Jupiter Pacyod Gaawan, Fritz Gerald Lumpanga, Jun-Jun Madchanum and Innocencio Gollingay, according to the Mountain Province Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MPDRRMO).

The municipal government said 14 other survivors had been rescued.

Rescuers also recovered the bodies of Benito Falangkad Longan, JunJun Laron, Joel Arevalo and an unidentified man, the MPDRRMO said, while 16 others had yet to be recovered.

A team of rescuers from Mountain Province joined a 14-man team from Natonin that was digging frantically for people they believed were still alive inside the buildings.

At nearby Sitio Imisan, Barangay Alunogan, the body of Joeffrey Nagaowa Salangey was recovered on Tuesday, while a drowning victim, Mike Saleo-an, was reported at Barangay Banawel.

4 dead in Banaue slide

Near the rice terraces in Banaue town, Ifugao province, a landslide killed a 48-year-old man and his three daughters.

The Ifugao disaster response office said the landslide at Barangay Batad buried Baltazar Pinnay and his daughters Rydbell, 8, Rhezel, 10, and Rexibelle, 12. The mother and four other siblings survived.

Other fatalities

Also in Banaue, rescuers recovered the body of a backhoe operator who was clearing a landslide when a second erosion struck a ravine at Barangay Gohang.

On Wednesday, the body of a woman in her 20s was retrieved from a river in Aguinaldo town.

On Tuesday, Eurich Jane Galo, 5, was killed by a landslide in Lubuagan town, Kalinga.

Aaron Galo, 4, and Maribel Giwagiw, 19, survived the mudslide that buried their home in Barangay Mabilong. They were taken to Kalinga District Hospital.

Lubuagan also suffered floods when the Chico River swelled, submerging classrooms and a library of Dacalan Elementary School and Lubo Elementary School.

In Lacub town, Abra province, Vedancio Vicencio Villaruz, 58, was reported missing after strong river current swept him downstream while crossing a footbridge at Barangay Poblacion.

Damaged roads and poor communication lines prevented families and local officials from informing various government agencies about the disasters until Tuesday night.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said 864 families from 80 affected villages were moved to evacuation centers while 367 other families took refuge elsewhere when Rosita struck.

An additional P662.5 million has been released to the DSWD to replenish its quick response fund, according to Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno.

Blocked roads

The DPWH said 20 sections of national and provincial roads in the Cordillera Administrative Region were hit by landslides.

Among the main roads closed were the Madduang section of Apayao-Ilocos Norte Road and the Poblacion and Maratang sections of Claveria-Calanasan-Cabugao Road.

On Halsema Highway (Baguio-Bontoc Road, the main route for farmers transporting vegetables to Metro Manila), landslides blocked the Sinipsip section of Buguias town, Benguet province, and the Busa section of the road in Sabangan town, Mountain Province.

A landslide at Barangay Tidang in Kayapa town, Nueva Vizcaya, closed Benguet-Nueva Vizcaya Road. The alternate routes—Bokod-Kabayan Road and Bokod-Baguio Road—were also closed.

Bontoc-Kalinga Road was also closed due to a landslide in Tinglayan town.

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Travelers going to Baguio City during the All Saints’ Day weekend were advised to take Marcos Highway and Naguilan Road, while work crews repair a collapsed bridge on Kennon Road at Camp 1. —Reports from Karlston Lapniten, Kimberlie Quitasol, Villamor Visaya Jr., Leila B. Salaverria, Ben O. de Vera, Melvin Gascon, and the wires

TAGS: typhoon Yutu

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