TACLOBAN CITY: The death toll from landslides and flooding due to storm Seniang (international name: Jangmi) in Visayas climbed to 55, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
In Eastern Visayas, the Department of Health (DOH) added to the list of casualties the two persons who drowned in the towns of Palo and Burauen in Leyte province, and a recovered body from a landslide site in Catbalogan City in Samar bringing the total loss to 33.
In Central Visayas, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) reported the death toll rising to 21 with three persons still missing, including two in Cebu and one in Bohol province.
DOH Assistant Regional Director Paula Paz Sydiongco said that Samar has the most number of deaths at 21 after rescuers retrieved a body of an unidentified landslide victim in Mercedes village, Catbalogan City.
“Ongoing retrieval operation is being done at the landslide area in Catbalogan, Samar to find the two missing persons believed to be buried alive,” Sydiongco said.
Of the 33 deaths due to storm Seniang’s heavy downpour, 21 were from Catbalogan City; five from Tanauan, Leyte; four from Mahaplag, Leyte, and one each from Baybay City, Palo and Burauen in Leyte.
All victims were killed by landslide except the two from Palo and Burauen towns who perished due to massive flooding. The storm has injured at least 22 persons in Eastern Visayas.
In Cebu, the OCD-Central Visayas said 1-month-old Ace Faunillan and 3-year-old Joyce Bahinting, all of Ronda in southern Cebu, remained missing as of Saturday. Gilbert Vito of Inabanga, Bohol also remains unaccounted for.
Seniang destroyed 93 houses and damaged 63 others in the region, displacing at least 115 families or 562 individuals in Cebu and Bohol.
Two bridges in Cebu and Bohol remain impassable after they were destroyed by floodwaters caused by torrential rains spawned by Seniang.
These are the Dumlog Bridge in Sibonga, Cebu and the Makapiko Bridge in Batuan, Bohol.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 on Friday started the installation of a Bailey bridge to connect to the Dumlog bridge in Sibonga, Cebu after its approach was washed away by rampaging floods.
The work may take a week, officials said.
Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (PDRRM) chief Baltazar Tribunalo Jr. pegged the damage in southern Cebu to reach P1 billion, adding that the figure may increase when more reports come in from distant municipalities.
Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide 3rd said he has asked Malacañang, thru a text message sent to President Benigno Aquino 3rd, to extend financial assistance to those affected by the typhoon in southern Cebu.
Davide said the President assured him that the National Government will help after he shall have submitted a damage assessment report.