‘Ineng’ leaves 10 dead, 7 hurt
More people were reported killed on Saturday due to landslides in various parts of Northern Luzon, raising Typhoon “Ineng’s” toll to 10 people dead, at least seven injured and two missing.
The powerful howler is expected to leave the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) Sunday.
Among the fatalities were Michael Felix, 58, a farmer, who was killed in a landslide in vegetable-producing Buguias town, Benguet. Glen Poloc Baldasan, 27, a pocket miner, was buried in a rock slide as he made his way home in Mankayan, Benguet.
A rock slide in Mankayan town also hit a vehicle, killing its driver, Michael Martin Lagasan, 59, of Cervantes town, Ilocos Sur.
Earlier, Erwin Celo and his brother Markin, members of a road crew who pitched a tent along the road in Sitio Takayan, Barangay Gambang, in Bakun town, Benguet, were buried in a rock slide on Friday.
On Saturday, in Atok town, a landslide buried the house of Juanito and Regina Catubing, killing their year-old baby Jury and injuring a 3-year-old child.
A landslide struck a house in Sitio Tala, Namatec village in Mt. Province’s Sabangan town, killing Ycher Mayon, 10, and injuring his sibling Lykher, 9.
In Pinili, Ilocos Norte, a motorcycle was hit by a fallen mango tree, killing its passenger, Herminio Tabuyo, 47, and injuring its driver, Luiller Dahilig, 67.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) listed two people missing since Aug. 20. One was Jubert Bumatau of Barangay Baraoas Norte, Naguilian, La Union. Another, Jar-ar Mallari, 24, of Solsona town was reported missing on Friday after he attempted to cross the swollen Sabo River.
The typhoon brought heavy rains, pounding a wide area of Northern Luzon on Saturday and forcing major power dams in the region to open their floodgates.
At noon on Saturday, a swollen Agno River, compounded by water discharged by the Ambuklao and Binga hydroelectric dams in Benguet, compelled the operators of San Roque Dam in Pangasinan to open two of its spillway gates.
Agno River warning
Avenix Arenas, spokesperson of the Pangasinan disaster risk reduction and management office, advised 18 towns and cities traversed by the Agno River to take necessary precautions. These were the towns of San Manuel, San Nicolas, Santa Maria, Asingan, Villasis, Rosales, Balungao, Tayug, Santo Tomas, Alcala, Bayambang, Bautista, Urbiztondo, Mangatarem, Aguilar and Bugallon, and the cities of Lingayen and San Carlos.
Intermittent rain in Baguio City since Friday forced the closure of Kennon Road, a main highway link to the summer capital.
In Ilocos Sur, rivers, which overflowed due to the rain, isolated the villages of Banucal, Bequi-Walin, San Vicente and Labut in Lidlidda town, and Sibsibbu, Matibuey, Kalumsing, San Miliano and Tiagan in San Emilio town.
State of calamity
In Ilocos Norte, the provincial board placed the province under a state of calamity due to extensive flooding.
Landslides blocked access to 17 major Cordillera roads, including a weakened portion of Kennon Road near the iconic Lion’s Head.
In Kalinga, Army soldiers and volunteers rescued 25 people who had been tending their farms along the Chico River in Pinukpok town. They were helping three more farmers cross back to the town yesterday. Those rescued said they did not anticipate the swelling of the Chico River.
In Ilocos Norte, 23,400 people or 4,800 families in the towns of Bacarra, Banna, Dingras, Marcos, Nueva Era, Pagudpud, Sarrat, Solsona, Vintar, Piddig, Pasuquin and Currimao, and Batac City were evacuated to safer ground following flash floods, according to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
In Pallas Valley in Vintar town, mudslides partially covered three houses in Ester village.
Officials said a tornado ripped through Pagudpud and Sarrat towns, damaging houses there.
Power outages affected the rural villages of Batac City, some areas of Laoag City, and the towns of Bacarra, Piddig, Sarrat, Dingras, Solsona, Pasuquin, Burgos and Pagudpud.
Since the typhoon entered the PAR on Aug. 18, the NDRRMC listed a total of 1,194 families evacuated in Regions I, II and the Cordillera Autonomous Region.
Public storm warning signal No. 3 remained hoisted over the Batanes group of islands; No. 2 over the northern Cagayan area, including Calayan and the Babuyan group of islands; and No. 1 in some parts of Calayan, Ilocos Norte, Kalinga and Abra.
In its weather bulletin at 5 p.m. on Saturday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) noted that “Ineng” had weakened slightly, with reduced center winds from 195 kilometers per hour to 185 kph.
The typhoon continued to move in a north-northeast direction, with its center located northeast of Basco, Batanes, as of Saturday afternoon. Within 24 hours, it is expected to be 405 kilometers northeast of Basco, and by this afternoon, outside of the PAR.
Evacuation in Taiwan
The storm is not forecast to make landfall in Taiwan, but authorities there have evacuated people in outlying islands due to expected heavy rains and gusty winds. At least 1,700 tourists have been evacuated from Taiwan’s Green and Orchid islands. Offices and schools have been closed since Friday.
Pagasa forecasts moderate to heavy rainfall in areas within 500 km of the typhoon, and monsoon rains over Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon.
Pagasa warned residents in low-lying and mountainous areas in provinces with storm signals of possible flash floods and landslides. Those living in coastal areas with storm signals 2 and 3 were warned of possible storm surges of up to a meter high.
Reports from Gabriel Cardinoza, Leilanie Adriano, Kimberlie Quitasol and Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon; Jaymee Gamil in Manila; and AFP
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