Two persons were reported killed while eight others remain missing as tropical storm “Ofel” (international name: Son-Tinh) slammed into several provinces in central Philippines and Metro Manila on Thursday, authorities said.
Ruben Tabura, 66, died after being buried in a landslide while fetching water from a river in Brgy. Jaclupan, Talisay City, around 3:30 p.m., Senior Supt. Patrocinio Comendador, Cebu Provincial Police director, said in a text message.
A certain Sophia Recto reportedly died of hypothermia in Marinduque, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
Among the missing are fisherman Jonrey Acaso, 28, who set to sea from Pintuyan, Southern Leyte, on Monday and Jonny Ocson, 8, who went swimming at a beach in Odiongan, Romblon, on Wednesday.
Also missing are Muhammad Kanape Guiamad, 11, who went swimming at the Tamontaka River in Cotabato City, and Rigel Saycon, 18, of Dumanjug, Cebu, and two other persons in General Santos City, the NDRRMC said.
Still not included in the NDRRMC’s list are fishermen Christopher Maranan, 24, and Eric Presto, 15, both residents of Brgy. Cuta, Batangas City. The two were last seen 3 a.m. Thursday, according to the Batangas Provincial Police.
In its 5 p.m. report, the disaster agency said nine people, including three whose boat capsized near Tacloban City, Leyte, were still missing.
But Senior Supt. Romulo Cleve Taboso, Tacloban City police director, said the three, identified as Clemente Umban Sr., 50; Ariel Posto, 23; and Olavit Posto, 12, have been able to return home.
The three took shelter on Dio Island and were confirmed to be back at their homes in Sitio Costa Brava, Brgy. San Jose, Thursday morning, Taboso said in a text message.
Southern Luzon, Visayas bear brunt
On Thursday, strong winds and rains brought by “Ofel” hit Quezon, Batangas, Masbate, Romblon, Marindue, Mindoro Island, Pnay Island, and Cebu, after the storm passed through Mindanao and Eastern Visayas.
The town of Bantayan experienced big waves while Tudela reported a power outage and Talisay City, the landslide, Comendador said.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama ordered the suspension of classes at all levels in the city, according to the NDRRMC.
In Masbate, strong winds and waves destroyed three houses in Dimasalang and six fishing boats in Placer, Supt. Jeffrey Fernandez, deputy provincial police director, said.
Quezon experienced “continuous” rain but no storm-related incidents have been reported as of Thursday afternoon, provincial police director Senior Supt. Valeriano de Leon said.
Earlier, the NDRRMC reported that 296 families or 957 people in Maasin City and St. Bernard of Southern Leyte, as well as Palo, Burauen, and La Paz of Leyte fled their homes due to floods.
Landslides occurred in Bontoc, Southern Leyte, affecting roads and bridges, according to local police.
Floods occurred in Brgys. Lagao and Baluan of General Santos City, prompting at least seven families to evacuate, the NDRRMC said.
Metro Manila hit too
Rains also hit Metro Manila from early morning Thursday up to the evening, causing floods in several roads, according to police.
Gutter-deep floods occurred along Sipac st., Almacen, and M. Naval in Navotas City; Nascano st. of Brgy. Tugatog, Malabon City; Pasong Tamo and Pasong Tirad sts. of Makati City, but all remain passable to vehicles, the National Capital Region Police Office reported.
No other storm-related incident has been reported so far in the metropolis.
16,000 stranded in ports, 20 flights cancelled
Some 16,473 people remain stranded Thursday in ports in Cebu City, Tagbilaran City, Dumaguete City, Matnog and Pilar of Sorsogon, Cagayan de Oro City, Surigao City, Iloilo City, Bacolod City, Caticlan of Aklan, Roxas City of Capiz, Batangas, and Mannila, according to the Coast Guard.
Sea travel is still suspended to prevent maritime disasters, according to the agency.
Thousands of airline passengers are also stranded as more than 20 flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport have been cancelled. (John Roson)
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