‘Tisoy’ death toll up to 17

    Smashed tree. A resident stands in front of a decades-old tree that bore the brunt of typhoon “Tisoy” in Guinobatan, Albay. PHOTO COURTESY OF JAY MIRANDA LLANZA
    Smashed tree. A resident stands in front of a decades-old tree that bore the brunt of typhoon “Tisoy” in Guinobatan, Albay. PHOTO COURTESY OF JAY MIRANDA LLANZA

    AT least 17 persons were reported to have died during the onslaught of typhoon “Tisoy” in several regions last Tuesday, based on consolidated field reports.

    The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said it has yet to record any confirmed fatality and reports from field units need to undergo verification.

    Tisoy, which weakened into a tropical storm yesterday, continued to move out of the Philippine area of responsibility and was forecast to be out between Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

    All signal warnings have been lifted.

    Tisoy was some 380 km west of Subic, Zambales as of 3 p.m. yesterday. It was moving west northwest at 20 kph, packing maximum sustained winds of 95 km near the center and gustiness of up to 115 km.

    The Office of Civil Defense-Mimaropa region reported seven fatalities — five in Oriental Mindoro and two in Marinduque. Four of the victims died from heart attack and three due to fallen trees and debris.

    In Bicol, police reported five deaths. Two of them were from Camarines Norte (drowning), one in Sorsogon, one in Camarines Sur (electrocution) and the fifth died from unknown reason at an evacuation center in Sorsogon.

    The OCD-Calabarzon reported two deaths: one in Batangas from drowning and the other from Quezon, who was hit by a fallen tree.

    The Quezon provincial police said one died due to “severe cold caused by typhoon Tisoy” while another was hit by lightning.

    The OCD-Eastern Visayas said one died in Ormoc City after being hit by a fallen tree.

    Consolidated field reports said at least 18 were injured and two remain missing.

    NDRRMC executive director and OCD administrator Ricardo Jalad said the fatalities reported by field units need to be verified “to ensure that they are directly related to Tisoy.”

    The NDRRMC provides financial assistance to casualties during disasters.

    NDRRMC spokesman Mark Timbal said, “The NDRRMC has not yet published an official casualty count since we are yet to receive verified reports of the fatalities and the injured persons. Once verification is completed, we will immediately publish those figures.”

    Timbal said he has received reports of five deaths — four in the Bicol region due to drowning and electrocution and one in Isabela due to drowning. These reports are subject to validation by the NDRRMC, he said.

    Jalad, citing initial assessment from field units, said there was no “major damage” from Tisoy.

    “All the roads are passable. There were landslides but these did not result in casualties. There were flooded areas but they (floods) already subsided,” said Jalad.

    Jalad said there were reports of damaged houses but these were mostly made of light materials.

    “We’re expecting damage in agriculture but the figures are still coming in and they are subject to validation,” Jalad also said.

    Timbal said, “The storm left the usual damage of major storms such as fallen trees, ruined roofs of houses and some government facilities.”

    The NDRRMC said at least 114,550 families or 458,000 persons are staying in evacuation centers in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, and Eastern Samar regions.

    Government institutions led by the Government Service Insurance System and the Social Security System said emergency loans are available to its members and pensioners who live or work in areas affected by Tisoy.

    In a briefing in Malacañang, GSIS vice president Joseph Philip Andres said an emergency loan program amounting to P20,000 will soon be available to GSIS members and pensioners in the typhoon-affected areas.

    Andres said amount carries an 8 percent interest rate and is payable in three years in equal monthly installments.

    For SSS members and pensioners, they may avail of the SSS’ Calamity Loan Assistance Program (CLAP) which is payable in two years in equal monthly installments and has an interest rate of 10 percent per annum.

    The amount that may be loaned is equivalent to the SSS member or pensioner’s average monthly salary credit.

    The SSS is coordinating with the NDRRMC for the areas under a state of calamity to ensure that the member or pensioner who would avail of the loan is from the affected area.

    Apart from the calamity loan, SSS is also providing a three-month advance pension, and Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan for members and pensioner, while the GSIS is also offering “Financial Assistance Loan” program for members and pensioners who are not directly affected or form rpm the areas stricken by typhoon Tisoy. – With Jocelyn Montemayor