LEGAZPI CITY – At least eight persons died either due to drowning, landslide and electrocution as Tropical Storm Bebeng battered Bicol on Sunday, the Office of Civil Defense said Monday.
The fatalities due to drowning were Lourdes Lanteno, 58 of Daraga, Albay; Jesus Paloma, 45, of Libon in Albay; Mario Nunez, 52, of Camarines Sur and Rolando Balandia, of Nabua town also in Camarines Sur.
Landslide victims were Marcel Ruelan 19, Princess Ruelan, eight months old, and Marco Sanchez, 7, all of Balatan town in Camarines Sur, while Arnulfo Pesito, 23 of Libon, Albay died due to electrocution and Aristeo Sabido, due to in a traffic accident in Lupi, Camarines Sur.
Bernardo Alejandro IV, OCD regional director and chairman of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) in Bicol in a joint meeting with the Albay Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) said of the nine casualties, six were from Camarines Sur and three were from Albay.
Albay Governor Joey Salceda, Albay PDRRMC chairperson, at a press briefing lamented the way the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Service (Pagasa) handled its warning system on the emerging weather hazards brought by Tropical Storm Bebeng.
The defective warning system and the stubbornness of some of the villagers in heeding disaster authorities’ directive to evacuate are the factors that cause the death of villagers in Bicol, Salceda pointed out.
Salceda asked PAGASA to issue advisory on possible weather disturbance five days before it enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR). This way, disaster authorities can make the necessary disaster preparations, he said..
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) reported that hundreds of vehicles were stranded at the Manila-Bicol Maharlika Highway in Labo, Camarines since 9 p.m. Sunday as waters from Namukanan bridge overflowed, rendering the road network not passable to all types of vehicles. The road network was cleared and opened to traffic around 10:00 a.m. Monday.
OCD report said power blackouts were reported in the Rinconada area in Camarines Sur. (PNA)