Surigao del Norte not “zero casualty” after all; 3 killed, 16 missing, 12 rescued

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 13 November) —  The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Mangement Council (PDRRMC) may have spoken too soon. Super typhoon Yolanda, it turns out, did not leave Surigao del Norte with “zero casualty” as earlier announced.

Three fishermen from Socorro town in Surigao del Norte, including a 13-year old boy were found dead, 16 remain missing and 12 others were rescued in different locations, police said.

Police Officer 3 Ibrahim L. Adlao of the Socorro Municipal Police identified the three slain fishermen as Benjie P. Adlao, Garry Ocon and 13-year old Jeremy Ramirez of  Barangay Rizal in Socorro town in Surigao del Norte.

Adlao told MindaNews that 31 fishermen on board a fishing vessel and six pumpboats sailed on November 5 but their boats capsized November 8 due to strong winds brought about by Typhoon Yolanda.

He said the survivors told him their boats were shattered to pieces.

Still missing are16 fisherfolk also from Barangay Rizal: Kolas G. Bato, Evyong G. Bato, Jeymark G. Bato, Gary P. Maisos, Sandy B. Rudela, Neco A. Migullas, Jorry A. Migullas, Elmer A. Angcog, Keboth A. Rudilla, Jegger A. Migullas, Jelmar A. Redulla, Dekiam Espuerta, Ogak D. Banaybanay, Payoy Macabodbod, Arciet Macabodbod, and Salud Migullas.

Rescued were Loloy G. Juanite, Bongbong Rudela, Bembo P. Rudela, Sarry Rudela,Taloy B. Sarong, Opaw P. Ocon,Alvin Arcular, Norman Humaylab, Charly Maghinay, JR Ramirez, Lodie Maturan and  Ronald Jualo.

Adlao said the bodies of Adlao, likely a relative, and Ocon, were found floating in Tandag City in Surigao del Sur while the body of the 13-year old boy, Ramirez, was found at 9 a.m. on Sunday, November 10, off General Luna in Siargao Island.

Also found along with Ramirez’ body were four fishermen who survived the ordeal.

On the same day, other survivors were found off Sta. Monica town in Siargao Island.

Adlao said search and rescue operations were suspended on Monday when the weather bureau issued a storm signal warning and sea travel was not allowed due to the impending arrival of typhoon Zoraida.

Adlao said a dozen boats are now looking for the remaining 16 missing victims.

On Novmeber 9, a day after Yolanda made landfall in Eastern Visayas,  the PDRRMC announced there was “zero casualty” in the province.

As of 6 a.m. November 13, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported 1,833 persons dead ; 2,623  injured; and 84 missing in Leyte, Samar and other areas across Yolanda’s path.

A total of 1.38 million families or 6.9 million residents were displaced in 7,488 barangays in 41 provinces across Regions IV-A (Calabarzon), IV-B (Mimaropa), V (Bicol), VI (Western Visayas), VII (Central Visayas),  VIII (Eastern Visayas),  X (Northern Mindanao), XI (Davao Region) and Caraga.

Of this number, half a million residents (582, 303 persons or 127,833 familites), wee displaced and  served in and out of evacuation centers. (Roel Catoto/ MindaNews)