Ulysses leaves 7 dead in Cordillera

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BAGUIO CITY– Seven people died, two persons were reportedly injured, six others remain missing while hundreds of millions worth of public and private properties were damaged during the wrath of Typhoon Ulysses in the Cordillera, Thursday.

In viewpoint, Banaue, Ifugao, 5 personnel of the Department of Public Works and Highways – Ifugao District Engineering Office (DPWH-IDEO) reportedly died while 6 other individuals remain missing after urge landslide buried the house where they sought shelter at the height of the heavy rains and strong winds caused by the weather disturbance. One of the 12 individuals that were inside the house was able to survive the tragic incident.

Earlier, urge landslide triggered by the heavy rains and strong winds of Typhoon Ulysses buried the house where 1 people were reportedly having shelter. Most of those who have sought shelter in the said house are employees of the DPWH.

Aside from the house, the landside also buried a pay loader that was being used to clear an earlier landslide that transpired in the area prior to the occurrence of the landslide that had affected the road.

Initially, 6 bodies were recovered from the site while search and rescue operations are still underway for the retrieval of the remaining missing persons.

In Benguet, Felix M. Boquite, 60, a resident of Busoc, Poblacion, Atok died after a clump of bamboo fell on his house as a result of the strong rains and heavy winds of the typhoon while a 30-year old male from Sebang, Buguias also died after he was buried by a landslide that occurred in their place as he was attending to his vehicle amidst the heavy downpour.

Based on the report of the Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC), an initial 334 families composed of 1,265 individuals from 91 barangays, 28 municipalities and provinces were heavily impacted by the weather disturbance.

Of the said number of affected population, 86 families composed of 338 persons were reportedly displaced where 10 families with 86 persons are inside 10 evacuation centers while 150 families are living outside evacuation centers.

Further, the heavy rains and strong winds inflicted total damage to 2 houses and partially damaged 66 houses in the different parts of the region.

The CDRRMC also reported that initially, there were 7 fallen trees, 8 flooding incidents, 64 soil collapse along road networks and 1 major landslide that occurred at viewpoint, Banaue, Ifugao at the height of the typhoon.

According to the report, there were 39 road sections in the region that were closed to traffic, while 38 road sections were one lane passable.

In terms of schools, the CDRRMC stated that 6 schools suffered from infrastructure damage, 5 schools were affected by flooding, 5 schools were also affected by soil erosion and 1 school was said to have damaged access road.

Moreover, the damage to agriculture inflicted by the typhoon was initially estimated to be more than P73 million while infrastructure damage was pegged at more than P29 million where P452 million was the damage on roads while P77 million was the cost of damage to bridges.

However, the estimated damages to public and private properties are expected to increase in the coming days as soon as all the local disaster risk reduction and management offices shall have submitted their complete reports on the damages in their respective areas of jurisdiction.  By Dexter A. See