Describing “Ulysses” as the worst typhoon to hit the region in 40 years, Quirino Governor Dakila Carlo Cua said Monday that seven deaths were reported in the province as the estimated damage to private and public properties have yet to be determined.
In the Laging Handa press briefing, Cua said a 10-year old boy who was among the casualties, was swept away by the raging flood water after slipping and falling while on his way to the barangay’s evacuation center.
He added that the six other casualties who are from Quirino province were buried by landslide in the mining site of Runruno which is at the Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya boundary but is under the jurisdiction of Nueva Vizcaya province.
Cua described the heavy flooding as unimaginable and attributed this to the consecutive typhoons that hit the region with the last typhoon “Ulysses” bringing the most devastation.
With the magnitude of the disaster, Cua said the livelihood of the people in the province was severely affected, and roads and bridges were submerged and rendered impassable.
He said that landslides were also a major concern as some barangays were isolated with Quirino having mountainous terrains.
Cua assured his constituents that the provincial government is slowly clearing the roads of debris to make them passable with help coming from various groups and neighboring provinces.
In terms of accessibility, Cua said that the major roads and bridges on the main thoroughfares which were previously submerged are now passable to motorists except for some isolated barangays where the obstructions are still being cleared.
But Cua sought the assistance of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to expedite the clearing operations to make them accessible to the public at the soonest time possible.
He stressed the need to clear the roads from all forms of obstructions to reinvigorate the province’s trade and commerce industry as farm products need to be transported to the market places.
With the improved weather, Cua said that most evacuees in the evacuation centers have returned to their residence after getting clearance from the police that it was safe for them to go back to their homes.
The governor said only a few evacuees whose houses were either severely damaged or totally swept by the overflowing rivers are left in the evacuation centers.
He narrated that several residents who built their homes near the rivers actually witnessed their homes being swept away by the raging floodwater.
Cua thanked his constituents who gave donations and participated in the actual relief and rescue operations in the neighboring provinces of Isabela and Cagayan.
He said the bulk of the relief goods and other donations were sent to these provinces with some being distributed in the severely affected barangays of Quirino.
In the same briefing, Sta. Maria town mayor Hilario Pagauitan reported zero casualties and no injuries with only five barangays severely affected and three barangays partially affected by the typhoon even if it was the worst flooding incident he has experienced in his lifetime.
He noted that some residents were caught off guard as the flood water rose up to the second floor of their homes which has never happened before.
The mayor cited the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), neighboring provinces, and various groups for the assistance that were provided to his constituents.