By Aaron Recuenco
Three members of a family were buried in a landslide in Northern Samar at the height of typhoon Tisoy, raising the death toll nationwide to 18 with at least two others still missing.
A report from the Office of Civil Defense Eastern Visayas identified the victims as 16-year old Jodel Gaon, 10-year old Deven Gaon, and four-year old Angelo Gaon.
The victims were buried alive when a landslide swept their house in Sitio Cag Olango, Barangay Buenasuerte in Victoria town on Monday.
At least 17 people were initially reported dead in Bicol, Quezon, Batangas, Oriental Mindoro and Marinduque but the number of fatalities was reduced to 15 when verification was made in Oriental Mindoro and Marinduque.
Two more people were reported missing in Capiz and Isabela. Search and retrieval operations are ongoing.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) is continuously validating the reported fatalities as part of the protocol since relatives of those who died in calamities are being given financial assistance.
So far, only nine fatalities were confirmed to be typhoon-related, based on the verification of the NDRRMC.
More than 500,000 people from Bicol, Quezon, Eastern Visayas, MIMAROPA (Mindoro Oriental and Occidental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) were affected by the weather disturbance, most of them are from Bicol with 414,000.
OCD spokesman Mark Timbal said their personnel have been continuously conducting assessment on the impact of ‘Tisoy’ to population, agriculture and infrastructure.
So far, the hardest hit was Bicol region with an estimated P700 million worth of damage.
Timbal explained that assessment is important as it identifies the needs of the affected population like food and medicine and other basic needs especially for those who were displaced by the weather disturbance.
The assessment also serves as basis for the budgeting in the conduct of rehabilitation for typhoon-affected areas.
Based on the initial assessment by the NDRRMC, at least 27 schools were damaged by ‘Tisoy’, most of them are in Bicol and Eastern Visayas.
At least 112 houses, on the other hand, were damaged in five affected regions.
At least 226 cities and municipalities are experiencing power outage as the strong winds unleashed by ‘Tisoy’ toppled transmission lines and electric posts. (Aaron Recuenco)#