Lando's death toll reaches 30; damages hit Php 5 B
By Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan

MANILA, Oct. 20 (PNA) -- Thirty persons were killed while 36 others were wounded and three missing persons due to the onslaught of typhoon Lando in several areas of Luzon, separate reports from regional offices of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Office of the Civil Defense (OCD), show.

Lt. Edison Diaz, commander of Coast Guard Station Iloilo reported big waves overturned a boat in Iloilo, killing eight persons.

Diaz identified the eight fatalities as CJ Gamutia, who was retrieved at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday from waters off Brgy Sawang, Buenavista, Guimaras.

The Office of Civil Defense -Cordillera Autonomous Region (OCD-CAR) reported five fatalities: One in Bakun, Benguet who was buried by landslide; two in Tinoc, Ifugao due to soil erosion and landslide; one in Tineg, Abra, who was previously reported to be missing since he was swept by swollen river; and one in Buguias, Benguet, who was drown after being swept away by creek.

The OCD in Region 1 reported two fatalities in Pangasinan who were pinned by fallen trees. The Pangasinan police also reported that four persons were drowned after their boat capsized at 4 p.m. Monday in Bani town. Their bodies were recovered at about 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Baguio City police reported that two girls, aged seven and six, died due to landslide.

In Central Luzon, OCD Region 3 reported seven fatalities: Three in Aurora, two of whom were pinned to death by fallen trees while one died of drowning; two were drowned in General Tinio, Nueva Ecija; one was electrocuted in Moncada, Tarlac; one drowned and another pinned by collapsed wall in Zambales.

Meanwhile, three missing persons were reported-- one due to boat mishap in Iloilo, one carried away by swollen creek after falling off a hanging bridge in Nueva Vizcaya, and one drowned in Laguna.

The OCD also said that 36 people were hurt: three from Quezon City due to fallen tree; one in Nueva Vizcaya while trying to rescue sibling who fell off a hanging bridge; three hit by fallen trees in Pangasinan; 27 in Central Luzon, 14 of whom in Aurora, one in Nueva Ecija, 12 in Zambales and two in CAR; one in Ifugao due to landslide; one in Kalinga who was hit by fallen tree.

A total of 99,004 families, or 446,322 individuals were evacuated to higher grounds: 3,467 / 15,954 (Ilocos region); 40,276 / 158,608 (Cagayan Valley); 53,891 / 266,125 (Central Luzon).

The National Disaster Reduction and Risk Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that 191 families, or 680 persons were evacuated in Quezon and Cavite. In Cordillera, a total of 1,179 families or 4, 955 persons were also evacuated.

The OCD estimated initial damage to rice and corn crops, fishponds and other fishery utilities reached Php 189.010 million (Region 3 with Php 4.651 million; Region 1 with Php 146.556 million, CAR with Php 27.732 million; and Region 2 with Php 10.071 million).

Meanwhile NDRRMC figure as of Tuesday afternoon shows the death toll due to tropical storm “Lando" nationwide reached 18 while 16 injured and one missing in Regions 1, 2, 3, 4-A at CAR.

NDRRMC Executive Director Alexander Pama said that 88 road sections and 25 bridges were impassable in Regions 1, 2, 3, 5, and CAR.

He also said that a total of 1,078 passengers, 54 vessels, and 59 rolling cargoes were stranded due to rough sea condition caused by tropical storm Lando.

He also noted that damages to agriculture in affected regions reached Php 5,304,636,650.37.

Disaster officials, led by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, and Interior and Local Government Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento, flew to Aurora province, the hardest hit among provinces affected by "Lando, on Tuesday to personally assess the devastation wrought by the typhoon.

Gazmin, who is also NDRRMC chairman, also oversaw the relief and rehabilitation efforts in Aurora province.

Gazmin and Sarmiento’s visit on the ground came as the Offices of Civil Defense in Regions 1, 2 and 3 reported that nearly a total of Php 5-billion worth of fishery and agriculture products had been damaged or destroyed in the provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela and Quirino.

Disaster officials said the damages were expected to rise as assessments continued as infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges and buildings were excluded in the assessment. (PNA)

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