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Huge waves batter coastal villages in Visayas

/ 03:10 AM July 31, 2012

CEBU CITY—More than 2,000 people in Cebu, Iloilo and Negros were evacuated after strong winds and huge waves caused by Tropical Storm “Gener” damaged around 300 houses.

Two people in Bacolod City were reported to have died, one due to electrocution and the second after he was swept away by the strong river current.

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Several boat trips in the Visayas were also suspended due to the huge waves and strong current.

In Hinoba-an town and Bago City in Negros Occidental, 23 houses were destroyed and 131 others were damaged while 1,295 persons were evacuated, according to the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Western Visayas.

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In Valladolid town, Negros Occidental, 19 houses were destroyed and 220 were damaged when a storm surge hit at 4 a.m. on Monday, said social worker Josette Rojo.

Strong winds and high tide toppled the houses located mostly along the shoreline of Barangay (village) Poblacion, Valladolid, Rojo added.

In Iloilo, 14 houses were destroyed while 13 others were damaged, according to a report of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC).

In Cebu, 129 families in Talisay City were evacuated after huge waves damaged 79 houses and destroyed 13 others. Several boats owned by Talisay fishermen were also damaged. Radio reports said the seawall in Barangay Dumlog, Talisay sustained cracks.

The two casualties in Bacolod City are Gary Dulaca, 41, of Barangay Alijis and Raffy Morales, 2, of Barangay Pahanocoy. Dulaca was declared dead on arrival at Bacolod Adventist Medical Center. Dulaca’s wife, Grace, 42, and son Geo, 10, who tried to rescue him, were treated at the hospital’s intensive care unit, police said.

Morales fell into a canal next to their house and the water current brought him to Pahanocoy River on Saturday as the rain poured, said Joe Marie Vargas, head of the Bacolod Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. His body was discovered 9 a.m. on Sunday.

Trips of passenger boats plying between Iloilo and Guimaras and between Iloilo and Bacolod were suspended due to big waves and strong currents.

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In Cebu, 22 vessels canceled their trips as of 1 p.m. on Monday, according to the Cebu Coast Guard.

In Lanao del Norte, at least 500 families living in the southern part of the province were affected by floods due to heavy rains brought by Gener on Monday morning, according to an initial report of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Flooded were 12 villages in Sapad, Kapatagan and Sultan Naga Dimaporo towns.

Heavy rains also caused a landslide in Sultan Naga Dimaporo, rendering the highway leading to Cotabato City impassable. But as of 2 p.m. on Monday, the road had been cleared of mud, said the PDRRMC report.

In Barangay Bagong Silang, Kapatagan, residents were evacuated from their homes toward the elevated national highway as officials feared the sudden rise of the floodwater. Reports from Nestor Burgos Jr., Jhunnex Napallacan, Carla Gomez, Rachel Arnaiz, Jani Arnaiz and Joey Gabieta, Inquirer Visayas; and Ryan D. Rosauro, Inquirer Mindanao

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TAGS: Calamities, floods, Natural Disasters, Pagasa, Tropical Storm Gener, Visayas, Weather
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