MANILA, Dec. 8, 2014 — At least four people have died amid strong winds and heavy rains brought by typhoon Ruby in Eastern Samar.
The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said casualties include one in Dolores; one in Hernani; and two in Sulat and not Taft, as earlier reported.
In Dolores, considered the ground zero of this year’s strongest typhoon, a 50-year old farmer identified as Rosendo Nogit was killed after being hit by a fallen coconut tree in Brgy. Bonghon.
The typhoon also reportedly claimed the lives of an elderly couple in Sulat when a tree crashed into their small house.
In Hernani, a man was also killed by a falling tree yesterday afternoon or even before Ruby made a landfall at 8 p.m.
Last Friday, a man also succumbed to a heart attack while being evacuated to safer grounds in Dolores.
As of this posting, authorities are still monitoring the situations of other towns particularly Oras, San Policarpo and Arteche.
On Sunday, the national government’s frontline team was able to enter Dolores after almost seven hours’ travel from Borongan where they stayed during the onslaught of the typhoon which was packing winds of up to 175kph near the center, with gusts of 210 kph.
Interior and Local Government Sec. Mar Roxas, who was leading the team along with presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, said major roads were blocked by debris, fallen trees, electricity poles and tin roofs ripped off village houses.
When they arrived in Taft at around 1:00 p.m., the two and some officials left the convoy and proceeded to Dolores by riding motorcycles because they need to reach the area long before the evening.
They were able to return to Taft at around 5:00 p.m.
Roxas said going to Dolores on motorcycle was still difficult because they had to traverse a road littered by debris.
The typhoon caused heavy damage in Dolores and nearby towns particularly Can-avid and Taft.
Along the road of Borongan and San Julian, he said there are only few injuries but no reported deaths.
Roxas was able to speak to San Julian Mayor Ezekiel Fritz Aseo and the local official confirmed zero casualties in his town.
And because many houses were destroyed in Dolores, Roxas said the number of evacuees also increased.
The DILG chief also assured the victims that relief goods are on their way to their communities, as government troops began clearing operations.
The National Food Authority (NFA) warehouse in Borongan has 2,500 sacks of rice on hand.
Roxas has made arrangements for the distribution of these stocks, cognizant that food is one of the primary concerns, along with shelter. The NFA also reported that 20,000 sacks of rice are available in its warehouse in Calbayog. The Team is working to determine road conditions there. (PT)