‘Rolly’ death toll now at 24, 5 others missing — PNP; AFP still on alert for assistance & response operators

Published November 3, 2020, 1:17 PM

by Aaron Recuenco & Martin Sadongdong

The number of fatalities from typhoon ‘Rolly’ rose to 24 as four more deaths were reported in Bicol region and two others in  Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), the Philippine National Police (PNP) reported on Tuesday.

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 / MANILA BULLETIN)

Based on the consolidated report of the PNP, five more people are still on the missing list, three of them are in Bicol region and one each in Calabarzon and MIMAROPA (Mindoro Oriental and Occidental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan).

A total of 26 people were reported injured.

Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), said 16 of the fatalities were recorded in Bicol while another one was in Rizal province.

The breakdown of the fatalities in Bicol are as follows: three in Guinobatan, two in Malinao, one each in Bacacay, Tiwi, Daraga, and Oas in Albay province; four in Virac, one each in Gigmoto and San Miguel in Catanduanes; and one in Camalig, Camarines Sur.

NDRRMC spokesman Mark Timbal clarified that they are still validating reports of casualties fron the ground, hence, the disparity of tally with other agencies.

As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, Claudio Yucut, regional director of the Office of Civil Defense in Bicol (OCD-5), said they have initially recorded twenty fatalities.

Of the fatalities, 15 were already identified by the authorities. They were Lenelyn Lodado, 50 (Daraga); Ligaya Olayta; Dave Ongarin; Santiago delos Angeles; Malou Nota; Samuel Manrique Jr., 5; Elvie Manrique, 50; Michaela Manrique, 18 (all from Guinobatan); John Michael Melgar, 18; Jesus Rodriguez, 91; Marlyn Canon, 32 (all from Malinao); Alvin Lunas, 33; Jonathan Conserte (both from Tabaco City); Luis Ubalde Jr., 48 (Gigmoto); and Danilo Barba Jr., 35 (Virac).
According to the NDRRMC and OCD, most of the fatalities died of drowning while others were hit by fallen trees and other debris during the onslaught of typhoon Rolly. There were also some who were killed and whose bodies were swept in other municipalities after a lahar flow hit Tabaco City, Sto. Domingo, Camalig, and Guinobatan in Albay.

“We will publish the count provided by Region 5 once the usual verification procedures are done. The region provides the raw count to give a situationer on the ground,” said Timbal.

The number of evacuees, according to the PNP data, is at 611,893 people—almost all of them is in Bicol Region with 553,873 individuals followed by CALABARZON with 42,430 individuals and Western Visayas with 7, 627.

MIMAROPA has still 3,205 evacuees, Eastern Visayas with 2,437 evacuees, Central Luzon with 2,033 individuals staying in evacuation centers, and Cordillera Administrative Region with 14.

Police regional offices also reported that there are 241 areas in the country with no power supply-including the entire provinces of Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Sorsogon and some parts of Naga City and Masbate.

In MIMAROPA, there are 94 areas with no electricity, 68 in CALABARZON, 10 in the Cordillera region, seven in Cagayan Valley Region, three in Central Luzon and two areas in Metro Manila.

On the other hand, there are 103 areas with no telecommunication signal, most of them in Bicol and MIMAROPA.

Jalad explained that reports from the ground of casualties in Bicol Region were continuously being verified at the national level.
Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has mobilized eight aircraft from the Philippine Air Force (PAF), four ships from the Philippine Navy (PAF), and a total of 40 land transportation assets from the Philippine Army (PA) and other agencies like the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
The AFP is the lead agency in the SRR missions related to typhoon Rolly.
General Gilbert Gapay, AFP Chief, said all military units in the areas affected by typhoon Rolly were on heightened alert for humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) operations.
Lieutenant Colonel Aristedes Galang, Air Force spokesperson, said a C-130 and C-295 aircraft ferried 235 boxes of food packs, 150 boxes of bottled water, a communication van with one generator set, 15 cap beds, 10 tents, and four boxes of personal protective equipment (PPE) in Legazpi City, Albay and Virac, Catanduanes on Tuesday morning.
The Army’s 565th Engineering Construction Battalion under the 51st Engineering Brigade also transported relief packs in Baao, Camarines Sur after the government made contact with the local officials.
Further, the 31st Infantry Battalion under the 903rd Infantry Brigade conducted road clearing, and repacking and distribution of relief goods for families affected in Sorsogon.
Gapay said that damage assessment has also started in several areas badly hit by the typhoon including Catanduanes, Legazpi, Camarines provinces, and Northern Samar.
Lieutenant Commander Maria Christina Roxas, acting director of the Naval public affairs office, said the Naval Intelligence and Security Group and the Philippine Navy Islander under the command of the Naval Forces Southern Luzon conducted a damage assessment flight over the coastal communities in San Andres and Virac in Catanduanes.
Two landing docks, the BRP Tarlac (LD-601) and BRP Davao del Sur (LD-602), and two logistics support vessels, the BRP Bacolod City (LC-550) and BRP Dagupan City (LC-551) were also placed on stand-by for possible sealift and command-and-control missions.
Gapay said all military units in Bicol –the 31st Infantry Battalion in Sorsogon, 49th Infantry Battalion in Guinobatan, 2nd Infantry Battalion in Masbate, 83rd Infantry Battalion in Virac, 9th Infantry Battalion in Camarines Sur, and 91st Infantry Battalion in Camarines Norte– were alerted for SRR missions.

“The whole of Joint Task Force Bicolandia is on search, retrieval, and rescue operations mode. With the shift of focus from internal security operations to disaster response, all infantry battalions of the Philippine Army in the 9th Infantry Division area of responsibility were tapped to conduct SRR in support to the local government units,” Gapay said.