Mountain Province declared under state of calamity


BONTOC, Mountain Province – The province was declared under a state of calamity by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan due to the devastation caused by typhoon Ompong that hardly hit northern Luzon last weekend.

In a resolution signed by all members of the provincial legislative body, the provincial officials noted the devastation brought by the super typhoon.  It left six persons dead and three others wounded as the continuous rains flooded low-lying areas and caused landslides along mountain slopes. It has also caused major damages to agricultural crops, infrastructure, and private houses.

Six members of a household were wiped out at sitio Dantay in Alab, Bontoc when muddy soil from a landslide buried their house pinning them to death last September 15, 2018. The bodies of Nena Prisca Baggay (68 years old), Orland Baggay (68 years old), Lanibeth Baggay Minimo (36 years old), Darwin Minimo (37 years old), Kiershten Minimo (13 years old), and Klyde Minimo (4 years old) were retrieved by rescue teams and volunteers who worked overnight until the last cadaver was salvaged early morning the following day. Two  children of the Minimo couple Glenda Leine (14 years old) and Darren Lee (11 years old) were lucky to survive the accident. They were plucked out amongst the slide by responding rescuers and brought to the Bontoc General Hospital. Nene and Orland are retired employees of the Mountain Province Provincial Agriculture Office. Their daughter Lanibeth worked as an instructor at the Mountain Province State Polytechnic College while their in-law, Darwin, is a teacher at the ALBAGO National High School.

The third reported injured is Segundo Wasian of Balaoa, Tadian who was hit by a falling rock while they were conducting clearing operations the provincial road network.

Reports submitted to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office reveal that the typhoon inflicted more than 1.3 billion pesos damage to infrastructure, agricultural crops and livestock, and private properties. The amount is seen to increase as reports from far-flung areas continue to trickle in.

Hardest hit is the corn and banana producing municipality of Paracelis which recorded a P894,391,440.00 damage to agricultural crops and livestocks followed by Bauko and Sagada. On infrastructure, Bauko submitted the highest damage at P221,863,000.00. The municipalities of Sadanga and Paracelis have yet to assess the extent of damage to public infrastructures.

At least 423 families were either evacuated or moved to other houses for the duration of the typhoon while 208 houses – 194 partially and 14 totally – were damaged.

Despite the many landslides and washouts, the main thoroughfares within the province were opened to traffic a day after typhoon with the pre-positioned equipment from the two DPWH Engineering Districts, Provincial Engineering Office and private contractors.

Sources to potable water supply was also reinstated.

As of Thursday afternoon, the Mountain Province Electric Cooperative (MOPRECO) reported that electric power was restored to almost all part of their area of responsibility. MOPRECO officials said that  the service lines to Tap-eo in Sagada, Balintaugan in Bauko and Maducayan in Natonin are being checked by their linemen. Power is expected to be  restored during the week-end.


Banner photo: DANTAY TRAGEDY. Rescuers carry one of the six victims buried alive in a landslide at Sitio Dantay, Barangay Alab Oriente, Bontoc, Mountain Province that happened at about 4 pm of September 15 due to the onslaught of super typhoon Ompong. A total of six victims perished during the incident (Orlando Kabluyen Baggay, 67; Nena Prisca Antonio Baggay, 67; Lanee Beth Baggay Minimo, 36; Darwin Minimo, 37; Kiersten Mae Baggay Minimo, 12, and Klyde Baggay Minimo, 5). Glendalyn Baggay Minimo, 14 and Darren Lee Baggay Minimo, 11, were rescued by residents and rushed to Bontoc General Hospital. Ferdie Cariño Castañeda