By Mario J Mallari
The Daily Tribune, Saturday, March 19, 2011
The provinces of Leyte and Bohol were placed under the state of calamity after massive flooding hit the areas due to continuous heavy rains in the Visayas region that already claimed the lives of nine persons.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said that the two additional fatalities came from Leyte and Bohol provinces where widespread flooding was reported, prompting local officials to declare state of calamity.
Reports from the NDRRMC identified the two latest fatalities as 65-year-old Armando Buticarlo, who died of drowning in Bohol, and Leo Espina, of Palo, Leyte who was electrocuted.
The NDRRMC said that some 3,130 families or 15,398 people from Bohol, Western Samar, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Misamis Oriental, and South Cotabato.
Of these numbers, 2,878 families or 14,138 people have been evacuated.
Last Thursday, a landslide buried alive seven members of a family in Barangay Cabalawan, Tacloban City, they were couple Marlon and Jenita Jordan, both 35, and their children Marieta, 16; Angelica, 14; John Paul, 13; John Rey, 4; and Heyrex, 3.
NDRRMC executive director and Office of the Civil Defense Administrator Benito Ramos said that local disaster management councils are closely monitoring the situation to prevent further rise in casualty figures.
In a related development, the Navy reported yesterday the rescue of 80 residents in two barangays in Palo, Leyte at the height of heavy rains and strong winds since last Wednesday.
Naval Forces Central Command, through its Naval Station Dioscoro Papa, based in Tacloban City dispatched a team of Disaster Rescue and Response Unit after report of massive floods from the provincial coordinating council.
Last Wednesday evening, the Navy team rescued 19 children and seven adults from Barangay San Antonio, Palo town and brought the victims to an evacuation center.
The following day, at about 6 a.m., the Navy team proceeded to Barangay Cangumbang and rescued an infant, 29 children, and 24 adults. Among those rescued was a woman who just gave birth.