Boy dies in Valencia as Pablo moves west

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 4 Dec) – A six-year-old boy who was hit by a fallen coconut tree  in neighboring Valencia City, died on the way to the hospital, the first reported death  as Typhoon Pablo battered Bukidnon province Tuesday morning.

A MindaNews source at the Lavina General Hospital in Valencia identified the boy as Ronel Brandares. 

The eye of Typhoon Pablo passed by Malaybalay and neighboring areas at around noon today.

Malaybalay Mayor Ignacio Zubiri said residents were forcibly evacuated in Sitio Panamucan, Barangay San Jose here due to the rain-induced landslides. Last October, residents in the area also evacuated for the same reason.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration’s (PAGASA) Severe Weather Bulletin No. 8 issued 11 a.m. today, seven Mindanao provinces remain under Signal No. 3 as Pablo continued its westward path:  Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga del Norte, and Camiguin, Surigao del Norte (including Siargao Island), Surigao del Sur, Dinagat, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Davao del Norte (including Samal Island), Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, North Cotabato, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay and Maguindanao were degraded into Signal No. 2, while Davao del Sur, Sultan Kudarat, Basilan, Sarangani and South Cotabato are now under Signal No. 1.

In Lanao del Sur, Col. Satar Buriongan, provincial risk reduction management council officer, said a bridge was washed out and there were two reported cases of landslides in the municipality of Kapai.

Buriongan said continuous strong rains since Monday night forced them to dispatch a team for an emergency evacuation of hundreds of families in Kapai on Tuesday morning.

“The road is not passable at the moment, but we advised the residents to evacuate now and look for higher grounds for their safety,”Buriongan said in a telephone interview.

In Bubong town also in Lanao del Sur, water rose knee-deep as trees were uprooted due to the strong winds. At least 25 families were recommended for emergency evacuation.

Disaster officials worried continuous rains until noon will submerge the nearby towns of Ditsaan-Ramain, Buadiposo-Buntong, Molondo, Taraka, Poona-Bayabao and Lumba-Bayabao.

In Cagayan de Oro City, half of the city suffered power outage Tuesday morning. The City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) reported that as of 11 a.m., 24,389 people have sought shelter in 43 evacuation centers.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council of Misamis Oriental also reported that 1,750 families, or 7,446 individuals, from 25 municipalities went to evacuation centers.

In Kidapawan City, 60 families living around Mt. Apo were forced to evacuate after a series of landslides in Barangay Balabag noon today.

Barangay chairmaEphraim Umpan said the families – who brought with them some of their clothes, kitchen wares, and other belongings– are housed temporarily at the barangay hall

At least six landslides were spotted at Sitio Mawig, Barangay Balabag, one of the routes leading to the peak of Mount Apo, the country’s highest mountain.

No one was reported hurt during the landslides, Umpan said.

The heavy rains started around 4:25 a.m. today and continued until noon.

Umpan expressed fears that if the rains would continue until tomorrow, many residents, especially in flood-prone and landslide-prone areas in his village, would be affected.

He sought help from rescue volunteers in the city for immediate evacuation of the residents. 

Teams from the Kidapawan City Emergency Response Unit (KidCeru) and from the Philippine Red Cross were dispatched to facilitate the evacuation. (Walter I. Balane, Ferdinandh Cabrera, Cong B. Corrales and Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)