Friday, June 24, 2011

Strong typhoon devastates Romblon, the rest of the Philippines

Romblon was among the hardest hit provinces by typhoon “Frank.” The Signal 3 typhoon cut a wide swath of destruction affecting the entire Philippines. It entered the country’s so-called area of responsibility in Eastern Visayas and instead of turning north when it reached Bicol Region as predicted, it barrelled westwards hitting Western Visayas, Romblon and Mindoro before it swung north hitting the entire Luzon Island.

The typhoon also caused the sinking of the Philippines’ biggest ferry ship, Sulpicio Lines’ Princess of the Stars off San Fernando, Sibuyan Island in Romblon. More than 700 are feared dead.

In San Agustin, large waves battered the Carmen-Sugod-Long Beach road impeding motorized travel except motorcycles. Power lines toppled cutting off supply throughout the island.

At the height of the storm on Saturday night (June 28), Van Mark (Van Van) Elisan’s house was battered by the waves and was swept away. Fortunately, the rest of his family escaped injury or greater harm.

CERV had three volunteers in Romblon during the storm. Peter Barnett and Andrew Hudson were in San Agustin while Dennise Dunn was in Romblon Town, Romblon.

Paul Murray and Colin Lee-Chee arrived last Saturday from a short vacation in Hong Kong and were safely back in Manila before the worst of the typhoon devastated Metro Manila. New volunteer Leighton Wood spent Sunday, when Typhoon Frank was on top of Manila, at the CERV dorm. Kyle Engman was with his girlfriend in Antipolo City while mother-daughter Bette Luck and Jill Boike were at the Holiday Inn in Pasig City.

In CERV’s previous placement area of Iloilo, the entire province was hit by flash floods that killed dozens. Strong winds, torrential rains and flash floods also hit Dumangas. Barangay Tabucan was complete inundated, including Audy Detablan’s house.

As of this writing, families affected by typhoon Frank in Western Visayas Philippines continue to increase as partial and official report from the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) here disclosed 123,450 families or 612,775 individuals already displaced, 221 persons missing, 29 injured and 105 dead.

As of 2 a.m. Monday, June 27, the OCD report showed that 1,308 barangays have been affected by the typhoon and 44,708 families or 231,938 persons are staying in 284 evacuation centers all over the region. Moreover, 9,986 houses were totally destroyed, of which 20,687 partially damaged.

Five hundred thirty-three barangays were affected in Iloilo; Capiz came second with 473 barangays; Iloilo City, 113; Antique, 102; Negros Occidental, 60; Bacolod City and Guimaras at 12 barangays each and Aklan three barangays.
The highest number of death was also recorded in Iloilo province with 68, where 65 of whom are still unidentified followed by Iloilo City with 15; Antique, 12; Capiz, nine; Negros Occidental, one.

Reports of deaths and devastation continue to pour in from all over the country.

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