February 25, 2018, 3:40 am
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Landslide kills 3 in Surigao

THREE members of a family died after their house was hit by a landslide in Surigao del Sur province where weather disturbance “Basyang” made landfall yesterday and displaced close to 2,000 individuals.

Basyang (international name: Sanba) weakened into a tropical depression from a storm after its landfall in Cortes town, Surigao del Sur. It is expected to leave the Philippine area of responsibility tomorrow.

A report from the Caraga Police Regional Office said the landslide occurred at around 5 a.m. at Gawad Kalinga Houses, P-8, Barangay Gamuton, Carrascal town.

Buried in the landslide were Irene Benguillo, 33, her children AJ, 6, and MJ, 3. Their bodies were recovered by responding rescuers from the local government and private mining companies.

James Benguillo, the family’s patriarch, was injured in the incident.

Police also said Rosaline Emano Gabelino, 10, a grade 5 student, drowned as she was carried away by strong water current as she fell off a canal trying to recover her slippers, in Barangay Anislagan, Placer, Surigao del Sur at around 7 a.m. Tuesday. Her body was recovered about three hours later.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council said the Department of the Interior and Local Government is the agency in charge of confirming whether the deaths were in connection with Basyang.

At least 528 families or some 1,800 individuals have been displaced in 13 barangays in the Caraga region because of Basyang.

The NDRRMC said the affected families are staying in17 evacuation centers in the region.

Malacañang assured communities in Basyang’s path of P1.136 billion worth of relief goods and cash.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said some 407,800 family food packs worth P137 million and P476 million in additional food and non-stock items have been prepositioned while P522 million worth of funds had been deployed to the field offices.

Weather forecaster Ezra Bulquerin said Basyang was downgraded less than two hours after it made landfall at 9:15 a.m.

But Basyang will continue to bring moderate to heavy rains to parts of the Palawan and the Visayas until today.

Light to moderate rains are expected in the Bicol Region, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Caraga, and the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.

As of 5 p.m. yesterday, areas under tropical cyclone warning signal No. 1 were Palawan including Calamian and Cuyo groups of islands, Aklan, Capiz, Antique, Iloilo, Guimaras, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Bohol, Cebu, Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, and northern section of Zamboanga del Norte. – With Angela Lopez de Leon and Jocelyn Montemayor
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