‘Ineng’ death toll rises to 20
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet—The provincial board of Benguet on Monday declared a state of calamity in the province as the weather bureau warned of more rains up to midweek caused by monsoon intensified by Typhoon “Ineng.”
Ineng (international name: Goni) blew out of the Philippines on Monday, but the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said swaths of Luzon, including the already soggy north, would have monsoon rains up to Wednesday, and warned of flash floods and landslides.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said the death toll from Ineng hit 20 with the recovery on Monday afternoon of another miner who was buried in a landslide in Barangay (village) Taneg, Mankayan, Benguet, on Aug. 22. The fatality was not immediately identified.
Earlier, the bodies of miners Crispin Ablao, 22, Felimon Adcapan, 23, Jasper Olivarez, 20, and Armando Dayao were recovered by rescue teams at the pocket mining camp on a mountainside in Mankayan.
The NDRRMC also said 17 people were injured in Mountain Province, Benguet, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Batanes and Cagayan, while authorities were looking for 14 others reported missing.
The council said 72,326 people were evacuated from their homes in the Ilocos, Cagayan, Cordillera, Calabarzon and Mimaropa regions. It also reported 1,028 homes damaged.
Philippine Army helicopters airlifted food, water and relief supplies to the evacuees on Monday.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development said more than P3.1 million in relief were sent to the evacuees.
Rescue volunteers clawed away at the mountainside in Mankayan in search of 12 other miners still missing after the landslide that damaged their huts on Saturday.
The provincial board declared a state of calamity after receiving reports of damage caused by Ineng and the recovery of more bodies in Mankayan.
The Cordillera police reported the recovery of the body of a Mark June Hondrada Tobias, 27, who drowned after falling into a river in Abra’s San Juan town on Sunday.
In Zambales province, a flash flood triggered by heavy rain on Monday morning swept away a house beside a creek in the village of Mangan-vaca in Subic town, killing an 8-month-old baby and a 3-year-old girl.
To speed up the rescue efforts in Mankayan, Benguet Gov. Nestor Fongwan said volunteers started to clear mud and debris by bombarding the landslide site with water.
Fongwan said the portion of the mountain that collapsed had trees and bore no signs of weakening. “We think the rains were just too much, and the soil was saturated,” he said.
Julie Dayao, 22, widow of miner Armando, said she learned about the accident on Sunday when a relative telephoned her. She said she spoke briefly with her husband when he called her two days before the accident.
Julie and Florendo Dayao, Armando’s brother, took the miner’s body to Bagulin, La Union province, on Monday, with the assistance of the Benguet government.
The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in the Cordillera region said the search teams in Mankayan were looking for the miners and their family members who were at the camp when the landslide hit on Saturday: Ronaldo Angel, Paulita Caluten Angel, Ronald Paul Caluten Angel, Crisanto Bugtong Ablao, Nardo Mocnangan, Marvin Collado Baturi, Harold Collado Baturi, Rocky Mangrubang, John Aluyan Jr., Jose Aluyan, Mark Balicdan and Efren Balicdan.
In Nueva Ecija province, authorities were looking for Mark Soriano Mananghaya, 21, and his younger brother, Jordan, 17, who fell into an irrigation canal during strong rains on Saturday in Barangay Tulat, San Jose City.
Police said the brothers intended to fish in Pampanga River, but they fell into the canal.
Blackout in Ilocos
In the Ilocos region, National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) sent out a helicopter to assess the extent of repairs it would need to do after one of its towers collapsed, leaving many towns in the region in darkness.
Crippled by a blackout that may last for days, the Ilocos Norte government sent out vehicles that served as charging stations to different towns to keep communication lines open as it began to clean up after the typhoon.
An NGCP advisory said it could not say when power would be restored.
“Motorized boats can’t get through to the area. We hope that the weather improves so we can enter and fix the toppled electric tower,” the agency said.
Some parts of Pagudpud town, however, have power courtesy of a mini-hydropower plant there.
Four upland towns in Ilocos Sur and other villages in Abra province were isolated after a landslide cut a 100-meter stretch of a road in Lidlidda town in Ilocos Sur on Sunday.
The road is a major route to Lidlidda, San Emilio, Gregorio del Pilar and Quirino towns in Ilocos Sur.
Also affected were residents in Luba and Pilar towns in Abra who use the road.
Five villages of Santa town were also isolated after a road in the village of Calungbuyan was cut.
Road cuts have also isolated villages in the Benguet towns of Kibungan and Bakun.
The NDRRMC said damage to infrastructure caused by Ineng was P121.48 million.
In Cagayan, the typhoon left many fishermen with the heaviest losses.
Norma Talosig, OCD regional director in Cagayan Valley, reported that 89.4 hectares of fishponds and 39 fish cages, worth about P3.3 million, were damaged by the typhoon.
The Department of Agriculture said Ineng wrought P40.86 million in damage to farms in the Cordillera region.
Quoting initial reports, Agriculture Undersecretary Emerson U. Palad said 908 tons of high-value crops like vegetables worth P24 million were lost.
Ineng also destroyed 1,457 tons of corn valued at P16.46 million and 20 tons of palay (paddy rice) worth P400,000.
Palad said the damage wrought by Ineng caused spikes in the prices of some agricultural products, notably vegetables, in Metro Manila.
According to a survey done by the agriculture department’s Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service, the price of carrots has surged 129 percent to P160 from P70 per kilo.
Price of cabbage has doubled to P140 per kilo while a kilo of tomatoes now goes for P50, up 25 percent over the past five days.
The price of native pechay has doubled to P60 per bundle while the price of Baguio pechay has gone up to P120 from P80 a bundle.
But the prices of eggplant and white potato have gone down by 25 percent, to P40 from the previous P50.
“There is no shortage of these products,” Palad told reporters. “What we have is a problem of distribution—the roads are ruined,” he added.
The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) said Ineng displaced about 18,300 residents in the northern towns of Calayan, Claveria, Abulug, Ballesteros, Santa Teresita, Gonzaga and Santa Ana.
About 1,900 residents were also evacuated in five towns in Batanes but had since gone back home, the RDRRMC said.
While no deaths have yet been reported in Cagayan Valley as of Monday morning, the OCD’s Talosig said the council was still awaiting results of a search for Francis Castro, 17, who was reported missing on Saturday.–Reports from Kimberlie Quitasol, Leilanie Adriano, Gabriel Cardinoza, Melvin Gascon, Leoncio Balbin Jr. and Johanne Margarette Macob, Inquirer Northern Luzon; Allan Macatuno and Armand Galang, Inquirer Central Luzon; Dona Z. Pazzibugan, Julie M. Aurelio, Ronnel Domingo and Jaymee T. Gamil in Manila; wires
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