‘Rosita’ leaves 25 dead, 15 others missing in Cordillera

BAGUIO CITY — A total of 25 persons have been confirmed dead, three of them still unidentified, while 15 others are still missing in the aftermath of Typhoon Rosita in the Cordillera region.

The Cordillera Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) reported on Tuesday most of the fatalities were recorded in Natonin town in Mountain Province, where a building of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) being constructed crumbled in a huge landslide from a mountain across the road in the afternoon of Oct. 30.

Ruben Carandang, regional director of the CDRRMC and the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Cordillera, said that as of 7 a.m. on Nov. 6, 17 were confirmed dead in Natonin, three of them unidentified.

Seven deaths were recorded in four towns of Ifugao, while one was recorded in Lubuagan town in Kalinga province.

Confirmed dead from the Natonin landslide were identified as Joel Arevalo, Gregorio Castro, Juanita Longan, Virginia Malucay, Coyugan Catet, John Tenmacheg, Jerr Epan, Raymundo Ngilin, Benito Longan, JunJun Laron, Elbert “Berto” Cano, Reynato “Pablo” Ayom, Gary Hecyawan, and Rogelio Alubong.

Meanwhile, 14 of the reported 15 missing persons were at the Natonin landslide area. One was from Lacub town in Abra province.

Those recovered in Ifugao province were identified as Baltazar Pinnay, Rexibel Pinnay, Rhezel Pinnay, Rydnell Pinnay, Kimber Padching, Eugene Nah-og Allangi, and Brawner Maradang.

Recorded dead in Kalinga due to the typhoon was Eurich Jane Galo in Luguagan town.

Search shifts to rivers

The Search and Rescue (SAR) operatives have expanded their search to the rivers below the landslide site in Sitio Ha’rang, Barangay Banawel in Natonin, to find the 14 missing persons, who are believed to have supposedly sought shelter from the typhoon at the DPWH building that would be swept away in rainwater and mud.

The SAR operations are now a few kilometers away from the landslide site, including the river at Sitio Tuboy and in Barangay Bananao in neighboring Paracelis town, where the water from the landslide site, now called “ground zero,” drains.

There SAR teams are composed of personnel from various government and non-government rescue teams and volunteers from non-government organizations and the communities.

DSWD assistance

Janet Armas, regional director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Cordillera, said on Tuesday the agency is now conducting stress debriefing for survivors and relatives of the casualties.

According to the CDRRMC report as of Nov. 6, there were 120 affected families and 427 displaced persons in Cordillera, who are now staying either in the nine evacuation centers in Benguet and Mountain Province or with their relatives.

The DSWD-CAR said relief items are being delivered by land, air, and by boat, as there are still isolated areas in the region.

Hygiene kits, family kits, sleeping kits, and kitchen kits are being brought to the affected families.

Armas said the DSWD has completed the delivery of supplies in the flooded villages of Lubo and Dacalan in Tanudan town in Kalinga, as well as in the flooded villages in Paracelis town in Mountain Province.

Some rice was also air-lifted to the isolated areas in Natonin, to augment whatever stock the people had saved from their previous harvests.

Armas said Mountain Province Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan had assured the provision of food for the over 500 rescuers.

The DSWD-CAR posted on facebook that the agency had so far 31,060 family food packs and other items, worth a sum of PHP46.12 million, being delivered to the affected families. A standby fund of PHP4.4 million remains on hand for disaster response. PNA-northboundasia.com