Typhoon Karen leaves 6 dead in Cordillera

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — Typhoon Karen left six dead and a total of 69 households evacuated in the Cordillera Region with landslides and flood waters resulting from heavy down pour from early dawn August 26 until August 28 morning.

ROAD, ERODED. The big landslide spanning about 30 meters along Gawa, Tocucan, Mountain Province that stopped traffic for a few days. Photo courtesy of Glo A. Tuazon

At least four were reported dead and 23 families evacuated in Benguet, one in Abra and one in Baguio City.

Reports from the Benguet Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council, which Gov. Nestor Fongwan leads, the death toll included three children of a mining couple from Barangay Ucab in Itogon. The other casualty is a 33-year old farmer from Natubleng, Buguias. All four were found dead in mudslides.

The victims from Sitio First Gate in Ucab, Itogon Mark Anthony (1), Lester (8) and Alvin Somera (10), were brought to the Sacred Heart Hospital Wednesday but were reportedly pronounced dead-on-arrival. Their parents, Rogel and Lorenza, small-scale miners, were out of the house with two more of their children, when their house collapsed with the loosened ground.

Twenty-three more households had to be evacuated to the Evangelical Church in Ucab. Ten of the evacuated families are living in temporary dwellings below the Itogon road while the rest are in First Gate, according to Barangay Capt. Eduardo Daniel in an interview.

Daniel said the provincial government sent a relief team in time for the evacuation. It distributed blankets, canned goods, rice and other food supplies.

“Evacuees started fixing their houses as soon as the rains stopped Thursday,” Daniel told Nordis.

Fongwan identified the lone Buguias casualty as Arnold Attiw, who was also covered with mudslides Wednesday.

Two male residents of Sitio Supang in Poblacion, Itogon were injured. Gerry Fabilaran, 33, was hit by a GI sheet while Benguet Electric Cooperative lineman Milton Sotero, 30, fell from an electric post.

Several road networks earlier reported closed due to slides have been opened with concerned local government units initiating clearing operations. Tuba’s Kennon road, Kapangan road and the Itogon road were reportedly closed Wednesday but have been cleared in due time, according to Fongwan.

Farm and crop damages are still undergoing evaluation at the time of the interview with Fongwan. He said, the strawberry fields here were flooded that farmers need new planting materials to replace the damaged crops.

Meanwhile, in Baguio City, the typhoon claimed 72-year old Petra Kadatar of Barangay Pinsao, also due to a landslide, while 21-year old, Hesterlee Anne Carpiso of Barangay Sta. Scholastica was injured.

In Abra, 12-year old Camille Rasalan also died when she was hit by a fallen tree at the height of the typhoon, while in La Union, 77-year old Hilario Badungan also died after being buried in a landslide.

On August 21, the Office of the Civil Defense in the Cordillera reported 14 families in Itogon remained threatened with landslides, while 46 families earlier evacuated in Abra have started returning home. It also said floodwaters in Bangued and La Paz towns in Abra and in Rizal, Kalinga have subsided. # Lyn V. Ramo(NorthernDispatch)

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