By Restituto Cayubit
TACLOBAN CITY- The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Eastern Visayas said 13 people died at the height of Typhoon “Ursula,” while two persons are missing and 230,000 families or close to 960,000 individuals have been affected or displaced.
Of the 13 confirmed deaths, five each were from Leyte and Eastern Samar, with one each from the provinces of Biliran, Southern Leyte, and Samar. According to the OCD, they were either drowned, hit by falling debris, or electrocuted.
From Leyte, the fatalities were identified as Arwin Jomoc, 5, from Baybay City; Ramil, 37, and Rix Jhun Rosal, 18, both from Kananga; Bernard Escoto, 60, from Tacloban City; and Placido Arpon, 59, from Barugo.
The deaths from Eastern Samar were identified as Carlos Yu, 70, from Balangkayan; Macario Quizon, 26, from Guiuan; Macario Sabaldan, 77, also from Guiuan; Fel Tabiliran, 42, and Artemio Ybañez, 55, both from Borongan City.
The three other fatalities were Police Staff Sgt. Charles Pongos, 38 from Malitbog, Southern Leyte; Reymark Cañete, 27 from Cabucgayan, Biliran; and Maria Jessica Carpio, 29, from Basey, Samar.
Still missing are two fishermen from Borongan City: Danilo Banizar, 52, and Clyde Lustre.
The OCD-8 also reported that because of “Ursula,” which hit the region on the eve of Christmas Day, 239,771 families consisting of 959,229 individuals were affected by the typhoon in the provinces of Leyte, Biliran, Samar, and Eastern Samar, which are all now under state of calamity.
In Leyte, 121,485 families comprising 452,814 persons were directly affected by the typhoon; 71,392 families or 292,519 persons in Samar province; 26,107 families involving 205,090 persons in Eastern Samar; and about 15,187 families or 66,110 persons were displaced in Biliran province.
Also, 132,257 houses from these provinces were either totally or partially damaged because of “Ursula.”
In Leyte, about 60,478 houses were affected of which 56,514 were partially damaged and 3,954 totally damaged; 29,461 houses suffered partial damage and another 2,823 houses were fully destroyed in Samar; and some 23,711 houses in Eastern Samar were partially damaged and another 2,600 were totally destroyed. In Biliran, 11,225 houses were partially destroyed and 1,969 others were totally damaged.
Meantime, damage to roads and bridges in the affected provinces is estimated at P102.7 million, per initial reports of the Department of Public Works and Highways.
The regional office of the Department of Agriculture also reported that initially, about P171.8 million worth of agricultural products were destroyed by the typhoon, affecting 11,768 farmers.