‘Dante’ claims 4 lives

THE death toll from Tropical Storm Dante has climbed to four, with three more persons found dead in Mindanao and Leyte, Eastern Visayas as the storm caused massive flooding, flash floods and landslides.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) listed the fatalities as a one-year-old child and a 71-year-old male from Panoraon town in Davao de Oro, and a 14-year-old female from Norala, South Cotabato.

The child was buried under mud and debris, while the old man drowned in a flash flood, according to the NDRRMC report on Wednesday, June 2, 2021.

Two persons were injured in Davao Oriental while a person was missing in Norala.

The NDRRMC said 158 families or 604 persons were taking shelter in evacuation centers in Davao Region and Soccsksargen. There are 408 families or 2,038 persons who were also affected.

Over P500,000 worth of food and non-food items were provided to the affected individuals.

The NDRRMC said 10 road sections and three bridges were not passable due to fallen trees and electric posts and flooding in Central Visayas, Davao, Soccsksargen and Caraga. Parts of these areas also experienced power interruptions.

A total of 1,189 passengers, 113 rolling cargoes and seven vessels were reported to have been stranded in Bicol and Eastern Visayas after sea trips were suspended due to bad weather.

The NDRRMC also said P7.93 million worth of agricultural products were destroyed due to the storm.

Tragedy in Leyte

In Calubian, Leyte, a woman died and two children went missing when a flash flood swept some barangays near a river that swelled and overflowed on Tuesday night, June 1.

Former Tabiongan barangay secretary Joselita Mayor, 51, died after she was carried away by flood while she was trying to save her hogs in Sitio Tuburan.

In Barangay Padoga, two brothers went missing after they were also carried away by the flood. They are Brando and Ruel Salino, aged seven and two, respectively.

The Salino brothers were inside the house with their siblings and parents when the flash flood swept their house. Their father tried but failed to save them. As of this writing, search and rescue personnel were still looking for the two boys.

Flooded Cebu

Cebu absorbed a total rainfall amount of 102.7 millimeters during the onslaught of Tropical Storm Dante from 8 a.m. on June 1, until 8 a.m. on June 2, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) Mactan station.

This is equivalent to a total of 513,500 barrels of rain that fall in an area of one square kilometer as every millimeter of rain is equivalent to 5,000 barrels per square kilometer, said Jhomer Eclarino, a Pagasa Mactan weather specialist.

Eclarino said this is almost equivalent to the 103.5 millimeters of rainfall the Pagasa Mactan recorded from June 1 to 30, 2020.

The average or normal rainfall amount for June in Cebu is 190.4 millimeters.

The downpour flooded major roads in Metro Cebu on June 1, causing heavy traffic, and it also swelled rivers and creeks in the town of Consolacion, and cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Talisay.

Landslides happened in Barangay Manipis, Talisay City and Barangay Ablayan, Dalaguete town.

Evacuated families

Meanwhile, based on the latest data from the Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), two families in Barangay Cambayog, Compostela and one family in Barangay Adela, Poro, in Camotes were evacuated during the onslaught of the storm on June 1.

The PDRRMO also reported that 224 households (714 individuals) in nine barangays in Tuburan, northern Cebu were also evacuated.

These families returned to their homes on Wednesday.

In the sea waters off Tudela, Camotes, six fishermen from Balamban who sailed to sea despite the weather disturbance were rescued by the town’s disaster responders.

The engine of the fishermen’s pumpboat conked out in the middle of the sea after they left the port in Danao City, Cebu at 5 a.m. on June 1; they held onto their dear lives for 10 hours. The big waves pushed their vessel to the shores of Tudela.

Despite all that happened in Cebu during the storm’s onslaught, local authorities reported no casualties.

Fair weather

Eclarino said it is possible that Cebu’s rainfall could go above the normal amount for June this year because of the storm.

Moreover, he said Cebu can expect fair weather with isolated rain showers starting Thursday, June 3 and this could last until the weekend.

All tropical cyclone warning signals raised in Cebu were already lifted as of 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 2.

The Philippine Coast Guard, however, did not allow all sea vessels to sail again Wednesday, especially those bound for Mindanao.

As of 3 p.m. Wednesday, Pagasa said the center of the storm was located in the vicinity of Victoria, Oriental Mindoro with maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometer per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 90 kilometers per hour. It was moving west northwestward at 15 kilometers per hour. (TPM, JKDP, WBS, ANV)