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Typhoon Lando batters Luzon; 58 dead, almost P7-B crops lost

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BAGUIO CITY (PHLTODAYUSA)  October 22, 2015  Typhoon Lando swept Northern Luzon and Central Luzon with strong winds and heavy rains during the past few days, causing widespread floods and landslides and disrupting power, communications and air, land and sea transportation resulting to the death of at least 58 people and displacing some 300,000 people.



Damage to property, infrastructures and agricultural crops was initially placed at  almost P7 billion, with rice farms, vegetables, fisheries and livestock losses estimated at P6.3 billion alone.


Sixteen of the 58 killed were in Pangasinan but the Cordillera region that includes Baguio City, Benguet, Mt. Province, Ifugao and Abra registered the highest number of fatalities of 20 as of Wednesday, October 21..Benguet alone had 13 dead, mostly due to landslides. There were also deaths in Western Visayas and Metro Manila due to the onslaught of typhoon Lando.


Due to high number of casualties, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mel Sarmiento ordered PNP chief Dir. Gen. Ricardo Marquez to relieve Senior Supt. David Lacdan as provincial police director in Benguet.


Pangasinan Governor Amado T. Espino Jr. and Pampanga Governor Lilia G. Pineda personally led in rescue efforts and distributed food and relief goods immediately.


The Pangasinan relief and rescue groups were still conducting search and rescue operations for isolated individuals and families in 24 other barangays of Bugallon, Aguilar, Labrador, Infanta, Mabini and Mangatarem affected by flash foods as of Wednesday, but sought help from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) due to the big number of people to be rescued.


Gov. Espino, who directed operations at the PDRRMO tactical operations center, clarified that the flash floods came from accumulated rain waters in the mountains that cascaded and not from the swelling of adjacent rivers.


Former Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II and Rep. Leni Robredo were in Infanta, Dasol and Mangatarem on Wednesday to distribute relief goods for the typhoon victims.


Around 87 people were also reported injured while nine persons were still missing, according to official reports of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) which listed the official death toll from typhoon “Lando" only at 35 as of Wednesday, October 21.


As of that day, NDRRMC Executive director Alexander Pama said that damages stood at P6.918 billion, the bulk of which of P6.359 billion were in agriculture.


The NDRRMC did not consider in its tally a boat mishap incident in Iloilo that resulted in the death of nine persons due to typhoon Lando.


The agency also reported that 992,707 persons were affected while 103,437 were staying inside the evacuation centers in Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, at Central Luzon. 


The cyclone (international name Koppu) made landfall over Aurora province early Sunday and was forecast to remain within the Philippine Area of Responsibility until October 25, Sunday, as it weakened into a low pressure area.


As a result of the damage and widespread floodings, officials declared many areas under state of calamity like Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Isabela, Aurora, Cagayan.


The number of fatalities and those injured may still rise as the typhoon, the second strong howler to hit the country this year, continues to linger over the Ilocos region and pummel other parts of Luzon.


President Aquino, accompanied by some Cabinet members, and Vice President Jejomar Binay fanned out into the different areas, inspected the damage and distributed relief goods and seedlings.


The distribution of relief goods by LP presidential bet Mar Roxas and vice presidential bet Leni Robredo in Baler, Aurora, meanwhile, were made as they allegedly campaigned for votes in the area, an accusation which Malacanang immediately denied.


Malacañang clarified that the relief goods distributed by  Roxas and Robredo to families affected by Typhoon Lando in Baler, Aurora province were not from the government.


Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has prepositioned goods in Baler and the relief goods brought by Roxas and Robredo were for augmentation.


"These relief goods that are being given by Mar and Leni are augmentation. Ibig pong sabihin may mga prepositioned goods po ang DSWD roon,” Secretary Laciera said..


The Palace official stressed that the Liberal Party's presidential and vice presidential bets went to Baler only to check on the typhoon victims and distribute relief goods.


"Bakit niya lalagyan ng pulitika ang isang bagay na hindi naman dapat lagyan ng pulitika? Nasabi po natin ay tutulungan po ang taumbayan," Lacierda said in reaction to reports that Baler Mayor Nelianto Bihasa denied receiving relief goods from Roxas and Robredo because the mayor belongs to PDP-Laban.


"Ang mahalaga sa amin ‘yung taumbayan. Ang taumbayan dapat ang makatanggap ng relief goods, at hindi si Mayor Bihasa," he said.


"May litrato pong nilabas ang media bureau po nila ay nakatanggap po ang taumbayan ng Baler ng relief goods. Ang mahalaga kasi rito ang relief goods mapunta sa taumbayan, hindi po doon sa mayor... At saka ang PDP-Laban, hindi ho kalaban, kasama ho sa coalition ang PDP-Laban," he added.


The NDRRMC earlier reported the fatalities and injured were from Nueva Vizcaya, Aurora, Tarlac,  Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Mt. Province, Benguet, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Isabela, Zambales and Metro Manila. In Quezon City, two people were killed when hit by a tree toppled due to strong winds. In Laguna Lake, a fisherman in Mabitac town drowned due to strong waves.. 


Binay visited flooded towns in Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, and Bulacan on Wednesday as his office continued to provide relief and other assistance to families displaced by typhoon Lando.


Binay visited San Simon, Candaba, and Arayat in Pampanga; Cabiao, San Isidro, and Gapan in Nueva Ecija; San Miguel, and San Ildefonso in Bulacan.


He talked with local leaders to know the needs of the affected residents and what assistance his office could give them. Aside from relief goods, local officials requested hybrid rice seedlings from the Vice President to replace damaged crops. 


The Vice President said his office will provide relief goods and seedlings.


So far, the Office of the Vice President (OVP) has delivered 9,500 packs of relief goods in Nueva Ecija, 5,000 in Isabela, 4,600 in Bulacan, 2,400 in Pampanga, 4,500 in Pangasinan, 3,200 in Tarlac, 3,000 in Quirino, 3,000 in Nueva Vizcaya, and 5,000 in Aurora.


According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Typhoon Lando has claimed 58 lives and inflicted around P6 million-worth of damage to the agriculture sector.                


On Tuesday, Binay visited the towns of Gerona and Pura in Tarlac; and Guimba, Cabanatuan City, Bongabon, and Licab in Nueva Ecija. He is scheduled to go to Isabela, his mother’s home province, on Thursday.


The Central Luzon Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Mangement Council (RDRRMC 3) reported that Benita Farmanilay, 62, of Barangay Asinan, Subic, Zambales died of head injuries after a wall collapsed on her while her husband, Gregorio suffered minor injuries and was brought to hospital.


Sixteen persons were confirmed dead and three others injured when typhoon "Lando" pounded Pangasinan with powerful winds starting early dawn of Saturday, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) said.


Among the fatalities in Pangasinan were identified as Mauro Nuerong, 75, of Barangay Pampano, Mangatarem, who died when  a santol tree fell and crashed his house; Regina Sabangan, 85, of Bongato, Bayambang, who slipped off the floor inside his house and died on arrival at the Bayambang District Hospital; and one-year old Jan Kerby Capina of Barangay Ilog, Malino, Bolinao, who was pinned down by a mango tree which fell on their house.


Residents of flooded farming villages in those areas were seen on television trapped on their rooftops and animals floated down the swollen rivers.


NDRMMC spokesperson Romina Marasigan added that seven people have been confirmed injured.


She said that as of Tuesday, a total of 60,170 families or 290,797 people were displaced in Regions 1, 2, 3, 4-A, Bicol, National Capital Region and Cordillera Administrative Region.


Of said number, 15,603 families or 70,503 people are staying in 376 evacuation centers in the seven regions while 27,142 families or 132,621 people are outside evacuation centers.


The agency recorded 74 incidents -- 72 incidents of flooding in the provinces of Pangasinan, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Bulacan, Zambales and Pampanga; collapsed wall in Zambales; and toppled trees were monitored in Regions 1, 2, 3 and National Capital Region (NCR).


A total of 36 roads sections and 18 bridges were rendered unpassable due to flooding and landslides in Regions 2, 3, 5 and CAR.


Power interruptions/outages were reported in three cities and 65 municipalities in Regions 1, 2, 3, 4-A, 4-B and Cordillera Administrative Region; while province-wide power outages were reported in Pangasinan, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Aurora, Apayao and Kalinga.


As of October 18, power supply has been restored in five cities and 48 municipalities in Ilocos Norte, Pangasinan, La Union, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Tarlac, Laguna and Benguet.


A total of 5,011 passenger, 61 vessels, 55 motorized bancas, 215 rolling cargoes are stranded due to rough sea condition caused by severe tropical storm Lando.


Total cost of government assistance for the affected families has reached P2,176,345 worth of relief goods provided to affected families in Regions 1,2, 3 and 5.


School classes were suspended in many areas in Luzon, including Metro Manila and Southern Tagalog.

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