Ineng’s fury: 10 dead, thousands displaced

AT least 10 people were killed while five were injured as Typhoon “Ineng” pounded Northern Luzon on its way out of the country, officials said on Saturday.

Ineng [international name: Goni] weakened slightly but accelerated as it continued to north northeast direction, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said in its 5 p.m. bulletin.

The storm is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Monday but only after affecting more than 40,000 people in 12 areas, mostly in Northern Luzon.

PASSING STORM. Department of Public Works and Highways workers start clearing operations of a major landslide along Kennon Road in Baguio City which was triggered by Typhoon Ineng. Dave Leprozo
President Benigno Aquino III instructed government agencies to preposition their assets so they can respond immediately to the needs of affected people.

In Ilocos Norte, which declared a state of calamity on Saturday, thousands of households in low-lying villages remained under water while other villages were still isolated at press time, said Vice Governor Angelo Marcos Barba.

Barba said the provincial board held a special session on Saturday and unanimously approved a resolution declaring the entire province under a state of calamity at about 2:12 p.m.

Based on initial report of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council , over 40,998 individuals or 9,402 families, covering 136 villages in Ilocos Norte are now affected due to flash floods.

The PDRRMC continues to conduct evacuations in areas threatened by flash floods due to washed out dikes and swollen rivers.

Since Friday, the PDRRMC along with the various MDRRMCs responded to at least eight rescue operations and evacuated families in Barangays Manalpac, Nagpatpatan, Sta. Ana and Bagbag in Solsona, Catagtaguen in Banna, Cabaroan in Bacarra, Capangdanan in Pinili, Elizabeth, San Esteban, and Baresbes in Dingras and Barangay Loing in Piddig.

A tornado was also reported in Barangay Caunayan, Pagudpud that blown-off some GI sheets of a covered court here while a house was partially damaged in San Antonio, Sarrat.

A  Manila resident finds time to repair  the roof of his home after the Coast Guard  has ordered fishing boats  grounded for days because of the inclement weather. AFP
While communication lines are generally okay in the entire province, power is still out in the rural villages of Batac City, some areas of Laoag City, Bacarra, Piddig, Sarrat, Dingras, Solsona, Pasuquin, Burgos and Pagudpud.

Due to fallen trees, roads were temporary closed in Barangays Magnuang, Billoca and at the Batac City market on Friday.

In its weather update, Pagasa said the eye of typhoon Ineng was 105 kms east of Basco, Batanes at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Ineng’s maximum sustained winds weakened from 160 kilometer per hour to 150 kph near the center while its gustiness also decreased from 195 kph to 185 kph.

If the storm maintains its speed and direction, it is forecast to be at 405 km northeast of Basco, Batanes by Sunday afternoon.

By Monday afternoon, it is expected to be outside Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) or at 1,035 km Northeast of Basco, Batanes and by Tuesday afternoon will be outside PAR or at 1,660 km Northeast of Basco, Batanes.

Different agencies reported that nine of the fatalities were residents of Benguet province while one was from Mountain province.

The latest fatalities include one-year old Jury Catubing, Nole Lubante Jr., 21, and his pregnant wife Nova Mae Tuazon who were found dead inside their house which was buried by a landslide.

Cordillera regional police spokesperson Supt Cherry Fajardo said the victims were hit by landslide while sleeping at the height of Ineng’s heavy rains.

Fajardo said Catubing’s father and mother Regina and her three-year-old sibling were also injured when caught by a landslide at their home in Sitio Bayating, Brgy Topdac, Atok town at around 12 a.m. Saturday.

The other fatalities were identified as Michael Guingaban, 58, Glen Baldasan, 27, both died of suffocation and Michael Lagasan, trapped inside his vehicle by a landslide along the Palatang Mangkayan road in Benguet.

In Abra, hundreds of millions worth of agricultural products and private and government infrastructure were damage along with farm animals that were swept away by high water current brought by Ineng’s relentless down pour since Thursday.

“Although we have no casualties, we were hit by heavy rains and strong winds damaging our agriculture crops including several of livestock,” Abra Gov. Eustaquio Bersamin said in a radio interview.

He said that the Abra river has turned into an ocean.

“As soon as the situation normalizes, I will go to Manila to ask for help to assist my constituents who were badly affected by the typhoon,” Bersamin added.

The typhoon also rendered 12 major roads and 6 municipal roads and 7 bridges in regions 1,2 and CAR not passable to types of vehicles while workers from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) have increased pace to removed all obstacles in the affected road network. - With Sara Fabunan

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