OCD: Zero casualty in Dinagat, Siargao

BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews / 07 Dec) — Zero casualty in Dinagat and Surigao del Norte.

The provinces of Dinagat Islands and Surigao del Norte have been spared by typhoon Ruby as it moved slowly to Visayas and Luzon Sunday, with no casualty reported.

Liza Mazo, Caraga director of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said their office has not received reports of casualties from the province of Dinagat Islands and Siargao island in Surigao del Norte, which were earlier placed under Signals 2 and 1.

“We have not received any distress call the entire Saturday night. I would like to say we were spared,” Mazo said.

She said an updated report at 8 am Dec. 7 indicated that more than 20,983 families or 94,880 persons were evacuated in Butuan City, Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Island.

Assessment teams were deployed Sunday to look into the damages on houses, government infrastructure, and agriculture.

“We received a report that fish pens were destroyed in Dinagat Islands. We have no idea of the extent of the damage yet,” she said.

The OCD also received reports from Surigao City’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council that Mayor Ernesto Matugas has allowed the evacuees to return home.

But Surigao del Norte Governor Sol Matugas has recommended the suspension of classes in all levels on Monday, December 8, to conduct clean-up activities in the schools used as evacuation areas.

A total of four helicopters, three gunboats and a small task group composed of firemen, police and Army soldiers were deployed here Friday to conduct search and rescue operations if necessary.

As officials heaved a sigh here, a task group composed of doctors, nurses, therapists and social workers has been organized for deployment to any area that will be devastated by the typhoon in Leyte and Samar.

Maj. Gen. Oscar Lactao, commanding general of the 4th Infantry Division said the task group will include Army medics and engineers in two light trucks and an ambulance.

“Task Force Caraga as we call this rescue group will cross Lipata ferry and will be in any affected area in Leyte and Samar in less than six hours,” Lactao said.

He said the Caraga Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council is mobilizing army reservists, student ROTCs, and police trainees to help repack relief bags for Samar and Leyte. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)