TYPHOON 'SANTI' LEAVES 13 DEAD / 2 MILLION POWER-LESS
Stranded residents wait for trucks maneuvering through floodwaters on the Maharlika Highway in San Ildefenso, Bulacan yesterday. Typhoon Santi left several towns in Luzon flooded and without power. VAL RODRIGUEZ
MANILA, OCTOBER 14, 2013 (PHILSTAR) By Jaime Laude - Typhoon Santi pummeled Central Luzon early yesterday morning, ripping roofs off buildings, killing 13 people and leaving more than two million people without electricity.
Santi (international codename Nari) slammed into Aurora province around midnight Friday, toppling trees and pylons, as it cut a westward swathe through the farming regions of Luzon, officials said.
More than 2,500 people were evacuated from several coastal villages of Aurora hours before the typhoon made landfall, said provincial disaster officer Amado Elson Egargue.
The Office of Civil Defense in Central Luzon identified nine of the fatalities as Francisco Serrano, Ricardo del Rosario, Police Officer 1 Cresencio Bueno, Michael Parungao, all in Pampanga; Iris Balingit, Florida Rigier, Janell Yuduc, all of Nueva Ecija; and Raymond Samson, 7, and Rachelle Samson, 8, both of Tarlac.
Serrano, 81, of Lubao, suffered a heart attack during the height of the storm.
As Santi moved inland, dumping rain, a wall of mud fell on a police barracks near the town of Magalang, killing PO1 Bueno who was awaiting deployment to rescue typhoon victims, according to National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) spokesman Rey Balido.
Parungao was electrocuted by a loose power line in Candaba, while Rigier, 76; Balingit, 16; Yuduc, 7, and the Samsons were killed when trees fell separately on their houses. The 13th fatality whose name was not immediately available was from Catanduanes.
Three more bodies were recovered in San Miguel, Bulacan yesterday. The NDRRMC has yet to identify the three and determine the cause of their deaths.
In Masbate, the body of Flora Sulbiano, 80, was found along the shore of Milagros town, hours before the storm hit land last Friday.
Two children and an elderly person drowned in Bulacan, which suffered widespread flooding, according to Gov. Wilhelmino Alvarado in an interview with ABS-CBN.
Alvarado said the municipalities of San Miguel and San Ildefonso were hit hard as floodwaters from the Sierra Madre mountains inundated at least 43 of the towns’ villages. He said the floods were as high as five to six feet.
Frankie Gracia, 30, of San Ildefonso, was nearly swept away and had to be pulled back to safety by two policemen when he tried to cross a street that had turned into a raging river.
The farmer said he wanted to take a sack of pork to his relatives as he butchered his pig after it fell ill due to rain.
Four people were listed as missing, including a fisherman who was sleeping in his boat when the cyclone made landfall.
Three other fishermen who set sail before the typhoon struck have also failed to return home, Balido said.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said the three fishermen – Andres Timuat, Edilberto Arcilla, and Jose Burac – reportedly sailed for Tinago and Gigmoto waters in Catanduanes on Tuesday.
The PCG received reports that two fishing boats, with 11 men on board, drifted to the shore of Pandan, Catanduanes.
Two fishermen identified as Salvador Bolante and his son Isagani were rescued by their fellow fishermen in the waters off Caramoran town in Catanduanes.
Weather forecaster Meno Mendoza said Santi weakened after making landfall and quickly blew across the rice-growing plains of Central Luzon.
Santi cut off power in 37 towns and cities across Central Luzon, according to the Office of Civil Defense in the region.
As of yesterday afternoon, wide areas in Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Zambales were still without power.
Road and utility crewmen were out clearing roads and restoring power.
Nigel Lontoc, a disaster official for the region, told AFP that it could take up to two days before electricity is restored and major highways are reopened to traffic.
A total of 2.1 million people are living in the areas now without electricity, according to official population figures.
About 3,000 people moved into government-run shelters amid warnings their communities could be hit by flooding and landslides, Lontoc said.
Balido and Lontoc said local officials were tallying the number of damaged homes, many of which had their roofs blown off.
The typhoon spared Metro Manila, where the state weather service had warned on Friday about possible widespread flooding. No major floods were reported in the metropolis of more than 12 million people.
After sweeping across the country, Santi blew out to the South China Sea with peak winds of 120 kilometers per hour, the state weather service said.
Projections from the Hong Kong Observatory had the storm gathering pace over the coming days as it heads towards the northeast coast of Vietnam.
Santi prevented four flights from Singapore and South Korea from landing at the Clark International Airport (CIA) Friday night.
CIAC president and chief executive officer Victor Jose Luciano said the AirAsia and Jin Air flights from Incheon, South Korea and Cebu Pacific from Singapore were diverted to the Mactan International Airport in Cebu.
“Another Cebu Pacific flight from Singapore was diverted to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport,” Luciano said.
The diverted flights landed at CIA at about 8 a.m. yesterday as the weather improved.
Santi blew the roofs of the airport’s passenger terminal.
Luciano said the CIA turned on its emergency power after its external power supply was cut off during the height of the storm that started at about 11 p.m. Friday and lasted until dawn yesterday.
Winds destroyed ready to harvest palay in the towns of Plaridel, Baliuag, Bustos, Balagtas and Guiguinto.
Alvarado said about 10,000 hectares of rice and vegetable farms were damaged. He said rescue teams had difficulty reaching San Miguel as the Maharlika Highway, which connects Bulacan to the northeastern Luzon provinces, was impassable to all types of vehicles until yesterday morning due to flood, fallen trees and debris.
Provincial board member Ernesto Sulit said the flood and the lack of equipment hampered the clearing of the highway.He said at least 20 houses in San Miguel were submerged in floodwaters.
In Malolos City, two villages were reported to be under water, while five barangays were also flooded in Marilao town.
The provincial disaster risk reduction management office said 403 families or 1,831 individuals were evacuated from two villages in Baliwag town, three in Malolos City, and two in Obando town.
In Nueva Ecija, Abraham Pascua, chairman of the Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), estimated the damage to crops, particularly palay, to hit billions of pesos as most were flattened by the storm.
Pascua said the provincial council and agriculturist Serafin Santos have yet to determine the actual area of affected farmlands.
Gov. Aurelio Umali visited affected towns, but got stranded in Zaragoza town Friday night.
Six patients from the Gabaldon Medicare Community Hospital were transferred to the rural health center after strong winds ripped off the hospital’s roof.
A landslide was reported in barangay Bano in Arayat, Pampanga, but no one was hurt.
Central Luzon’s regional disaster risk reduction and management council said at least 157 villages in Aurora were flooded.
Santi prevented close to 3,000 people from leaving several seaports in the country at noon yesterday, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported.
The PCG said that a total of 2,617 people were stranded while 21 vessels were not allowed to sail.
The PCG said 273 people and 14 vessels were stranded in the National Capital Region (NCR).
The PCG station in Batangas said at least 1,400 people were stranded at the port, while 230 others were stuck in Calapan, 21 in Romblon, and 65 in Mamburao in Mindoro Oriental.
The seaport in Cebu served as a temporary shelter to 563 people and seven vessels from the Bicol region, while 30 and 24 persons were stranded in Sorsogon and Camarines Sur, repectively.
The local government of Aparri reported 11 stranded passengers.
The MacArthur Highway in barangay Sta. Cruz-Salapungan, Tarlac was impassable due to floods, fallen trees and power line posts.
Both lanes of the Romulo Highway in Padapada-Sta. Ignacia area and the La Paz-Zagarosa road all in Tarlac were closed as well as the road in barangay Putlan in Carranglan.
In Pampanga, roads leading to San Fernando City Hall were closed as well as the San Jose-Magalang road and the Sta. Ana-Magalang road due soil erosion.
The Daang Maharlika in Bulacan was also flooded and impassable to all types of vehicles. The rest of the national road, particularly in District 3, was littered with debris.
Roads leading to the towns of Aliaga, Quezon, Guimba and Talavera, all in Nueva Ecija, were blocked by fallen trees and power lines.
Workers from the Department of Public Works and Highways were conducting clearing operations as of yesterday.
Erenita Santos, DPWH district engineer for northern Nueva Ecija, said most of the national roads were blocked by debris. She said there has been no report of landslides in roads leading to the Dalton Pass in Nueva Vizcaya.
In Aurora, the whole province suffered a blackout as power was cut in all eight municipalities.
Elson Egargue, chief of the Aurora PDRRMC, said that as of 10 a.m. yesterday, at least 875 families or 3,303 persons were affected by the typhoon in the towns of Casiguran, Dingalan, Dilasag, Dipaculao, Maria Aurora, San Luis and Cabanatuan City.
Bataan and Zambales remained under public storm warning signal no. 1 as of yesterday afternoon as Santi moved away from the country, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
Weather forecaster Jun Galang said Santi slightly weakened and slowed down and was expected to be out of the Philippine area of responsibility this morning.
Galang said they might lift storm signals in all parts of the country by last night, and issue a final bulletin today.
PAGASA said they are monitoring Storm Wipha which is still at the Pacific Ocean. If it enters the Philippine area of responsibility it will be named Tino. – With AP, Celso Amo, Dino Balabo, Raymund Catindig, Ding Cervantes, Cet Dematera, Manny Galvez, Evelyn Macairan, Ric Sapnu
FROM MANILA STANDARD
2 million power-less By AFP | Posted 23 hours ago | 650 views
2 Blackout hits 37 towns; ‘santi ‘ leaves 13 dead, destroys crops
Typhoon Santi left a swathe of death and destruction in many parts of Visayas up to northern Luzon. Vehicles maneuvered through flood waters in Bulacan.
MANILA - Typhoon Santi pummelled northern and cental Luzon Saturday, ripping roofs off buildings, 13 people and leaving more than two million people without electricity.
Santi slammed into the country’s east coast around midnight (1600 GMT Friday), toppling trees and pylons as it cut a westward swathe through the farming regions of Luzon, officials said.
As Santi moved inland, dumping rain, a wall of mud fell on a police barracks near the town of Magalang, killing an officer awaiting deployment to rescue typhoon victims, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.
A person was electrocuted by a loose power line in nearby Candaba town, while trees fell on a house and a vehicle in Nueva Ecija province, killing three people, the council’s spokesman Rey Balido told a news conference in Manila.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, acting on the request of Nueva Ecija Governor Aurelio Umali, sent a 17-man rescue team to Jaen, Nueva Ecija to help in rescue and relief operations in villages affected by Santi.
Chairman Francis Tolentino said the rescue teams are composed of members of the Metro Parkway Clearing Group and Road Emergency Group.
The three fatalities in Nueva Ecija were killed by trees toppled by the strong winds.
A total of 15 towns and two cities in Nueva Ecija remained flooded.
Hundreds were get out of their vehicles as roads were blocked by fallen trees in Aurora or rendered by flood waters not passable.
Meanwhile, the Office of Civil Defense in Central Luzon reported that 603 families or 2,524 persons from the eight towns in Aurora province were displaced, while 141 families or 2124 persons in Masinloc and Sta Cruz, Zambales were also affected.
Flooding also hit 13 villages in San Miguel, two in Malolos City and four in Marilao in Bulacan and eight towns of Pampanga were inundated by 3 to 4 feet flood waters caused by cascading rain waters from the Sierra Madre mountains in Nueva Ecija.
The towns of Mexico, Sta Ana,-Masantos, Arayat, Mabalacat, Minalin, Apalit, San Luis, Brgy San Pablo in Lubao and 80 percent of Pirac and the municipalities of Anao, Concepcion, Victoria an’d Tarlac City remained without electricity, officials said.
Also, some portions of Nueva Ecija, and seven towns in Zambales and the towns of Baler, Maria Aurora, San Luis and Dippaculao in Central Aurora province are also without power.
In all, the typhoon blacked out 37 towns and cities across central Luzon, Road and utility crews had started clearing roads and restoring power, but said it could take up to two days before electricity is restored and major highways are reopened to traffic, Nigel Lontoc, a disaster official for the region, said.
A total of 2.1 million people are now without electricity, according to official figures.
Fallen trees and branches and several landslides closed traffic in the Baler Quezon-Bongabon, Nueva Ecija road the highway.
In Bulacan, two children and an elderly person drowned, according to Governor Willy Sy-Alvarado.
San Miguel town, meanwhile, was submerged by rampaging rainwater coming from the Sierra Madre mountain by four to five feet, even as 20 villages in nearby San Ildefonso town were also inundated by three to four feet.
Police rescue teams equipped with boats and jet skis were dispatched to rescue affected residents.
DSWD personnel were scrambled to respond to immediate needs of affected families who had been dispersed at government evacuation centers.
The heavy rains and strong winds also destroyed millions of pesos worth of play plants ready for harvest in the towns of Plaridel, Baliuag, Bustos, Balagtas and Guiguinto.
Maharlika highway also known as the Dona Remedios Trinidad highway, the main road that links the towns of Plaridel, Baliuag, San Rafael, San Ildefonso and San Miguel onwards to Nueva Ecija from the North Luzon Expressway(NLEX) was also impassable to light vehicles as late as lpm today.
Alvarado, meanwhile, ordered dam operators in Bustos to initiate pre-emptive and gradual releases to expand the water-carrying capacity of the dam so that it can still absorb when Ipo dam releases their excess waters.
In San Fernando, Pampanga, at least four communities situated at the foot of Mount Arayat were partially buried by thick mud and boulders that cascaded down from the slopes of the fabled mountain at the height of heavy downpour shortly after midnight Saturday.
Supt. Charlie Cabradilla, Arayat police chief, said more than 300 families were evacuated Friday from Purok 4,5,6, and 7 in Barangay San Juan Bano, Arayat as ordered by local officials and disaster risk reduction and management office.
Four people were listed as missing, including a fisherman on the country’s east coast who had been sleeping in his boat when the cyclone made landfall. Three other fishermen who put to sea elsewhere before the typhoon have also failed to return, Balido said.
About 3,000 people moved into government-run shelters amid warnings their communities could be hit by flooding and landslides.
Balido and Lontoc said local officials were tallying the number of damaged homes, many of which had their roofing blown off.
The Coast Guard, meanwhile, reported that more than 2,600 passengers were stranded in different sea ports in Southern Luzon, Bicol, and Central Visayas after it prevented vessels from sailing because of the bad weather.
Commander Armand Balilo, Coast Guard chief information officer,;said that sea travel in ports of Batangas, Calapan, Romblon, and Mamburao, all in Southern Tagalog; Cebu in Central Visayas; Sorsogon in Bicol, and Port of Manila were affected by the typhoon. With Franciso Tuyay, Florante Solmerin, Rio N. Araja, Jess Malabanan and Orlan Mauricio
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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