More typhoon deaths feared

Published November 2, 2020, 2:10 PM

by Martin Sadongdong & Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

300 homes buried by big boulders in Albay; ‘Rolly’ weakens

Typhoon “Rolly,” which made its first landfall in Catanduanes as a super typhoon, has already killed at least 16 persons and affected two million people from 12 regions of the country, the Office of Civil Defense reported Monday.

An aerial view shows destroyed and flooded houses after super Typhoon Goni hit the town of Malinao, Albay province, south of Manila on November 1, 2020. (Photo by Charism SAYAT / AFP)

The fatalities were reported in Albay and Catanduanes – two of the hardest-hit areas by Rolly in Bicol (Region 5). A total of 372,653 families composed of 2,068,085 individuals were affected by Rolly in Ilocos (Region 1), Cagayan Valley (Region 2), Central Luzon (Region 3), Calabarzon (Region 4-A), Mimaropa (Region 4-B), Bicol, Western Visayas (Region 6), Central Visayas (Region 7), Eastern Visayas (Region 8), Zamboanga Peninsula (Region 9), National Capital Region (NCR), and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

The fatalities were from Guinobatan with three; Malinao, two; Tabaco City, two; and once each in Daraga, Oas, and Polangui, all in Albay; and Gigmoto, Virac, and San Miguel in Catanduanes.

Authorities fear that the death toll will rise after big boulders buried about 300 homes in Purok 6 and 7 in Barangay San Francisco, Guinobatan, according to Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Zaldy Co.

He said several people are believed to have been buried in the village. Storm warning signals lifted As this developed, all tropical cyclone warnings have been lifted before noon Monday as Rolly (international name “Goni”), which has weakened into a tropical storm, moves further away from the Philippines.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) estimated the center of Rolly at around 195 kilometers (km) west of Subic, Zambales.

Should it maintain its westward track at 20 kph, it will be outside the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) by Tuesday morning.

Rolly has maintained its maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph.

It may remain as a tropical storm throughout the forecast period, but PAGASA said there is also an increasing likelihood that Rolly will weaken into a tropical depression due to increasingly unfavorable conditions.

Rolly spares Metro Manila PAGASA weather specialist Chris Perez explained that a “cone of uncertainty” comes with forecast tracks as part of the country’s disaster preparedness.

“The area of probability from the center track of the cone could move more to the north or more to the south,” Perez said during a DZMM interview.

“So that either way, even if the cyclone is not exactly on the central track, areas within the cone of probability can prepare for a storm,” he added.

This is to prepare the public for the worst-case scenario.

Metro Manila, which was placed under Signal No. 4 after Rolly’s first landfall was within the cone of uncertainty.

₱1.1-B damage to agriculture

Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad, OCD administrator, said they have yet to determine the extent of Rolly’s damage in agriculture and infrastructure.

However, Agriculture Secretary William Dar estimated the agricultural damage at ₱1.1 billion.

“Based on unofficial damage information, malawak ang damage sa agriculture at maraming bahay ang nasira plus roads and bridges. Sa ngayon ang effort is reponding to the effects and providing assistance to the victims of the disaster,” Jalad said.

18 roads impassable

Meanwhile, 18 national road sections were impassable following Rolly’s onslaught, the Department of Public Works and Highways said Monday.

In a press briefing, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said the multiple road closure were due to a series of landslides, fallen trees and electric posts, and flooding.

Region 5, which bore the brunt of Rolly last Sunday, have more than 10 impassable road sections while the remaining road closures were in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Region 3, and Region 4-A.

Three sections of the DM JunctionLegazpi-Sto. Domingo-Tabaco-Tiwi Road in Camarines Sur were impassable due to flooding.

Tabaco Wharf Road 1 and 2 were closed due to fallen utility posts.

Monitoring and installation of warning signs are under way, Villar said.

The Polangui, Balangibang, and Sipocot sections of Daang Maharlika in Camarines Sur were impassable due to fallen trees and utility posts.

Clearing operations are under way.

Villar said all vehicles going to and from Manila are advised to take the Rolando Andaya Highway as an alternate route. The Naga City-Carolina-Panicuason Road, Manguiring-Sibobo-Cagsao-Cabanbanan Road, and Milaor-MinalabacPili Road in Camarines Sur were closed due to fallen trees and utility posts.

The Lagonoy-Caramoan Road in Ancolan was affected due to fallen trees and electric posts but is now passable for motorcycles only.

The Goa-Tinambac Road is now passable for motorcycles but clearing operations are still ongoing due to fallen trees and electric posts.

The San Rafael-Mampirao Road is passable for motorcycles only as the road is being cleared of fallen trees and utility posts.

The Baao-Iriga City-Nabua Road in Iriga City proper remains impassable due to flooding and fallen utility posts while the Donsol-Banuang Gurang Road in Sorsogon is not passable due to flooding and fallen utility posts.

In the Cordillera Administrative Region, the Apayao-Ilocos Norte Road became impassable due to landslide while the Claveria-Calanasas-Cabugao Road is not passable due to soil collapse.

In Central Luzon, the Sto. Tomas-Minalin-Macabebe and Nueva Ecija-Aurora Road were closed due to flash flood and mudslide.

In Region 4-A, the Catanauan-Buenavista Road was closed due to fallen trees. (With a report from Betheena Unite)