Tag Archive: disasters

The number of deaths caused by typhoon “Ineng” (international name: Goni) rose further to 15 on Sunday as authorities retrieved more bodies from a landslide-hit part of Mankayan, Benguet, authorities said.

Armando Dayao, Felimon Adcapan, and Jasper Olivarez’s bodies were retrieved from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Sunday, after Crispin Ablao was retrieved Saturday afternoon, Benguet provincial police spokesperson Senior Inspector Joyce Ann Dayag said.

All four were among a group of people who went missing after a landslide hit Sitio Elizabeth, Brgy. Taneg, early Saturday.

A landslide washed out shanties used by pocket miners in that area around 3 a.m., Cordillera regional police spokesperson Superintendent Cherry Fajardo said.

After Ablao’s body was retrieved past 2 p.m., residents told police that they were still looking for 18 people.

Search and recue operations had to be halted around 5 p.m. Saturday because of rising water level at the nearby creek, poor visibility, and heavy rain, Fajardo said.

Operations resumed Sunday morning, with 95 policemen from different units deployed, Dayag said.

Dayao, Adcapan, and Olivarez’s bodies were eventually retrieved while Jonie Foster and Marpety Bayagen, who had been among those reported as missing, were found alive, she said.

“Both persons (Foster and Bayagen) were confirmed alive. Accordingly, they went home before the incident happened,” Dayag said.

Thirteen people are still missing in the area as of Sunday afternoon, data provided by the Benguet provincial police showed.

They are Ronaldo Angel, Paulita Angel, Ronald Paul Angel, Hohn Aluyan Jr., Jose Aluyan Jr., Efren Balicdan, Mark Balicdan, Nardo Mocnangan, Marvin Baturi, Harold Baturi, Rocky Mangrubang, Crisanto Ablao, and Ramil Reyes.

Andrew Alex Uy, Office of Civil Defense-Cordillera director, confirmed Ablao, Dayao, Adcapan’s deaths in a report emailed Sunday afternoon.

Olivarez’s death has yet to be included in the regional civil defense unit’s list.

Uy, meanwhile, confirmed a death in Tabuk City, Kalinga.

Julius Gumisa’s body was retrieved 11 a.m. Sunday in Brgy. Suyang, Tabuk, after he went missing in Brgy. Caluttit, Bontoc, Mountain Province, the regional OCD chief said in his report.

Gumisa was the lone fatality of drowning in Cordillera, while the rest died in landslides, according to the report.

Landslides occurred as the mountainous region experienced 721.6-millimeter rainfall, or 78.43 percent of the monthly average 920mm, from August 20 to 23.

“The soil is already saturated,” Uy said.

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said close to 33,000 persons in Cordillera, Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, and Mimaropa fled their homes amid landslides, floods, and tornados at the height of “Ineng.”

Some 12,510 persons went to evacuation centers while 20,407 stayed at the home of relatives. Out of the total number of displaced persons, only 8,426 were evacuated ahead of the storm, the NDRRMC noted.

Incidents caused by “Ineng” also destroyed at least 958 houses in Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Cagayan, Batanes, Benguet, Apayao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, and Laguna.

The typhoon has also caused at least P124.818 million worth of damage to agriculture and infrastructure in Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, and Cordillera, according to the NDRRMC. (John Roson)

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Four persons were killed while almost 4,000 were affected by floods and landslides caused by heavy rain in four provinces of Central Mindanao, authorities reported Thursday.

Floods and landslides affected 43 barangays in nine towns and two cities of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato, and Sarangani, said Minda Morante, director of the Office of Civil Defense-12.

Tupi town of South Cotabato and Brgy. Rajah Muda of Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, declared a state of calamity because of the floods, Morante said in an emailed report.

Couple Nonoy, 74, and Monita Ga, 71, of Brgy. Bunao, Tupi, South Cotabato; Diron Tamarang, 70, of Brgy. Lunen, also in Tupi; and Anita Ochova, 63, of Glan, Sarangani, died in landslides caused by heavy rain, she said.

Five persons, identified as Mercy Magbanua, 27; Kathlyn Magbanua, 1; Jay Argal, 24; Cristy Ochova, 31, and one Jojit Mangisel were injured, she said.

Of the 3,985 individuals affected by floods, 1,798 were evacuated and are currently staying in barangay halls, daycare centers, gymnasiums, and homes of relatives, Morante said.

Most of the evacuees came from Tacurong City and Isulan, Sultan Kudarat; Koronadal City and Tupi, South Cotabato; and Glan, Sarangani.

Floods also left at least four bridges impassable to motorists and caused at least P6.9 million in damage to agriculture, Morante said.

More than 500 hectares of rice fields, more than 80 hectares of cornfields, and at least 7.5 hectares of fishponds were damaged because of the floods, which also left at least 50 farm animals dead or missing, she said.

Heavy rains brought by an intertropical convergence zone hit South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato, and Sarangani from Tuesday night until Wednesday morning, causing the floods, according to Morante.

Local governments are now providing relief goods to the evacuees and are still monitoring the situation in affected areas, she said. (John Roson)

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The Office of Civil Defense in Calabarzon (OCD 4A) has recommended that people living near trees and big structures be evacuated during storms, after typhoon “Glenda” caused many casualties in the region.

“Those living near large structures like billboards, walls, electric and communication posts, as well as trees, should also be warned and encouraged to evacuate,” OCD 4A director Vicente Tomazar said in a report to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, who chairs the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Currently, only people living in areas prone to floods, landslides, and storm surges are covered by plans of pre-emptive evacuation.

But it was observed that most of the 66 people killed and 96 injured as of Sunday in Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, Rizal, and Quezon were hit by uprooted trees, collapsing walls, and other falling debris, said Tomazar, who also chairs the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

In a full council meeting of the RDRRMC 4A on Friday, it was also recommended that trees along highways and major roads be trimmed, or the planting of trees in such areas be discouraged altogether.

Toppled trees and posts left roads impassable, especially for rescuers, Tomazar said.

Meanwhile, Tomazar recommended that the government also come up with an “emergency communications strategy” that could be used during disasters, as regional authorities were practically cut off from national and local agencies for hours, after Glenda struck.

“The storm crippled telecommunication facilities, disrupting emergency services. Due to this, information at the higher DRRMC was limited,” he said.

As of Sunday morning, the RDRRMC 4A recorded 667,497 affected persons, 106,539 destroyed houses, and P661.37 million worth of damage, but has yet to receive information from some areas in Quezon, Laguna, and Batangas because of communication problems.

Glenda’s effects on the region’s economy “have yet to be fully reckoned,” the council said.

Tomazar cited the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) as one of the national agencies inaccessible during Glenda’s onsluaught.

“The forecasting capability of DOST-PAGASA was very much appreciated, it was very accurate. But its accessibility on the website was a major issue during the passage of the typhoon” he said.

Tomazar admitted that current incident management plans and procedures “fell short” and that the local DRRMC system, though well coordinated, was “overwhelmed” by Glenda, which is now considered as one of the most destructive storms that hit Calabarzon.

“Improved operational plans could have better mitigated the typhoon’s tragic effects,” he said. (John Roson)

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The number of fatalities caused by typhoon “Glenda” (Rammasun) surged to 51 Thursday, as authorities recieved more reports of casualties from Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) region, where the storm knocked down many power and telecommunication lines.

Storm-caused deaths rose to 33 in Calabarzon alone and three people are still missing, according to a report from the Office of Civil Defense 4A.

Eleven died in Laguna, followed by eight in Quezon, six in Batangas, five in Cavite, and three in Rizal.

Most of the fatalities were hit by falling trees, collapsing walls, and other storm debris, while some drowned and one suffered heart attack while being rescued, according to the report.

One of the fatalities in the OCD-4A report, identified as Mario Moral, was captain of a fishing boat that capsized off Cavite City on Wednesday because of rough sea conditions caused by “Glenda.”

Navy personnel found Moral’s body near their base in Sangley Point past 3 p.m. and rescued his four companions, according to a report from the Cavite provincial police.

“Quezon province is the hardest hit by typhoon ‘Glenda.’ The region is still waiting for reports of local governments whose communication lines were damaged, which resulted in the slow generation and submission of reports,” OCD 4A director Vicente Tomazar said in his report.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, meanwhile, said 18 people died in Metro Manila (2), Central Luzon (4), Mimaropa (5), Bicol (4), Western Visayas (1), and Eastern Visayas (2).

One of the fatalities in Central Luzon, identified as 69-year-old Pacita Janggui, suffered a stroke when the roof of her house in Sto. Tomas, Pampanga, was blown off by the typhoon’s strong winds, according to the NDRRMC.

The fatality in Western Visayas, Felipe Royo, was previously reported as missing. He was carried away by waters of a river that he tried to cross in Janiuay, Iloilo.

One person remains missing in Marinduque, according to the NDRRMC.

“Glenda” damaged 19,257 houses and destroyed 7,002 others in Ilocos region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Bicol, Eastern Visayas, and Metro Manila.

The storm also destroyed at least P1.135 billion worth of crops and livestock in Central Luzon, Mimaropa, and Bicol, and left at least P49.1 million worth of damage to infrastructure in Bataan, Nueva Ecija, and Metro Manila, according to the NDRRMC. (John Roson)

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Three people were confirmed killed while three others remain missing due to incidents caused by tropical storm “Maring” and the southwest monsoon in different parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila, authorities said Monday.

Two persons were killed when a dike in Tanza, Cavite, collapsed amid heavy rains around 8 a.m Monday, Vicente Tomazar, director of the Office of Civil Defense-Calabarzon, said in a phone interview.

On Sunday afternoon, a passenger jeepney figured in an accident in Sitio Lenneng, Cabugao, Apayao, leaving Franco Pedrito Cawayan dead and nine other persons seriously injured, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said in a report.

Also on Sunday, 31 tourists and tour guides were trapped inside the Sumaguing Cave in Sagada, Mt. Province, when rainwater flooded the cave, Insp. Kristine Gamboa, Sagada Police chief, said.

Thirty of the group, including some Japanese nationals, have been rescued but a female tourist from Pangasinan remains missing as of Monday noon, Gamboa told Bandera.

One Rosalino Calantay, 30, and Monching Bakidan, 20, were also reported missing after they were carried away while trying to cross rivers in Tubo, Abra, and Bontoc, Mt. Province, the NDRRMC said.

Heavy rains brought by tropical strom “Maring” and the southwest monsoon also caused at least six landslides in Abra, the agency said.

In Cavite province, parts of Tanza, Rosario, Bacoor, Noveleta, and Carmona towns suffered floods like San Pedro, Binan, and Sta. Rosa of Laguna, Tomazar said.

“Mataas ang tubig ngayon sa Laguna Lake… apektado ‘yung mga coastal municipalities ng lawa,” he said, adding that many families were forced to flee their homes and take shelter in 11 evacuation centers.

Evacuations were also reported in San Mateo, Rodriguez, and Cainta towns of Rizal province, Tomazar said.

In Batangas, evacuations were also recorded in Lipa City, Sto. Tomas, and Alitagtag, Senior Insp. Dwight Fonte, Batangas provincial police spokesman, said.

In Metro Manila, at least 119 families or 557 persons evacuated in Makati City and Marikina City, the NDRRMC said. (John Roson)

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At least nine workers at the Energy Development Corp. (EDC) geothermal power field in Kananga, Leyte, remain buried in a landslide that has so far left five people dead, police said Saturday.

Search for the missing victims resumed 9 a.m. Saturday after being stopped 5:30 p.m. Friday due to heavy rain, Senior Insp. Antonio Angcay, officer-in-charge of the Kananga Police, said by phone.

“Wala pang nakukuha, clearing operation pa lang… pahinto-hinto kasi umuulan,” said Angcay, who is supervising the police’s search and retrieval team at the site in Upper Mahiao, Brgy. Lim-ao.

Other EDC workers, firefighters, and civilian volunteers from Ormoc City are also involved in the search, he said.

In a report sent to the Leyte Provincial Police, Angcay said 10 people in the EDC’s list of workers remain unaccounted for.

The 10 were identified as Marlon Buanghong, Uldarico Taburansa, Salvador Yabana, Jordan Salcedo, Edgardo Cabarsi Sr., Salvador Lascañas, and Fredo Arabis, “Belly” Abella, Danny Mabute, and a certain Yasar.

Angcay, however, noted that one of the 10 could be the still unidentified fatality who was pulled out of the rubble on Friday along with four others.

Four of the five fatalities recovered on Friday were identified as Bonifacio Polinio, Joel Milay, Abelardo Permangil, and Etchield Dela Austria, he said.

Twelve survivors, identified as Edgar Bregildo, Joel Salondro, Romeo Binondo, Felipe Jaba, Jiovanni Perez, Remerito Manawataw, Benjie Lenterio, Romelo Basan, Jobert Auman, Mario Serguida, Roldan Rios, and Alemar Aseo, are still being treated at the OSPA and Clinica Gatchalian hospitals in Ormoc City.

All victims are workers of JE Construction, which was contracted by First Ballfour to build anti-erosion railings, or “ripraps,” along the mountainous road leading to the EDC worksite, Angcay said.

Meanwhile, Angcay revealed that the 10:30 a.m. landslide also damaged the pipeline which EDC was using to draw steam from the earth.

Part of the steam pipeline “exploded” after a “mountain” about 30 meters high collapsed on it and the workers, the police official said in his report.

Two weeks of intermittent rains triggered the landslide, the EDC said in a statement. (John Roson)

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Some 7,914 people have been evacuated in different areas of Caraga due to floods caused by heavy rain from a low pressure area (LPA), a civil defense official said.

At least 6,854 people have been evacuated in Butuan City, 935 in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur, and 125 in San Luis, Agusan del Sur, Office of Civil Defense-Caraga director Blanche Gobenciong said.

Floods caused by the LPA have already affected at least 2,427 families or 9,840 people in the region, she said.

Those affected are from Butuan City, Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte; San Luis, Agusan del Sur; Malimono, Surigao del Norte, and Lanuza, Surigao del Sur.

Butuan City is on “Alert Level 3” because waters of the Agusan River, whose basin includes the city, have risen to 2.78 meters above sea level.

In Lanuza, a landslide caused an estimated P1.5 million worth of damage when it wrecked the science laboratory of the Nurcia Integrated School, Gobenciong said. (John Roson)

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Seven people, including five foreigners, were killed in a hotel fire in Olongapo City early Friday, authorities said.

Those killed included Americans James Brigati, Patrick Burt, Joseph Bulari, Korean Kyung Ook Kim, and two Filipinos, Supt. Jose Hidalgo, officer-in-charge of the Olongapo City Police said in a text message.

A fifth foreigner, believed to be from the United Kingdom, also died in the fire at the two-storey hotel, Insp. Jose Borlagdatan, chief investigator of the Olongapo City Fire Station, said in a phone interview.

The casualties’ names were based on the hotel’s logbook, Borlagdatan said.

Fire razed the Dryden Hotel Bar and Restaurant along the National Highway in Brgy. Barreto around 3:30 a.m.

The cause of the fire is still being determined, Borlagdatan said. (John Roson)

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‘Pablo’ death toll nears 500

The number of fatalities caused by typhoon “Pablo” shot further up to 474 on Friday as authorities continue to search for 300 people who remain missing, mostly in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.

“Pablo,” the strongest storm to hit the country this year, has also left more than P4 billion worth of damage, mostly in crops and livestock, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said.

Some 223 people died of drowning and mudslides in Compostela Valley alone, the Office of Civil Defense-11 (OCD-11) said in a report Friday.

In Davao Oriental, the number of fatalities jumped to 216 after authorities found 118 bodies in Baganga, Lt. Zaida Vidad, acting spokesperson of the Army’s 701st Brigade based in Mati City said, citing figures from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

“It’s (death toll) still increasing… local authorities are considering placing the unidentified and decomposing bodies in a mass grave because of the odor,” Maj. Gen. Ariel Bernardo, commander of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, told reporters by phone.

“Pablo” also killed 11 people in Northern Mindanao, 11 in Caraga region, seven in Central Visayas, two in Eastern Visayas, two in Palawan, one in Zamboanga City, and one in Capiz, the NDRRMC said.

Some 377 people were still missing in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental as of Friday morning, according to the OCD-11.

P4-B damage to agriculture, infra

As authorities continue to deal with the number of casualties, “Pablo” also reared its ugly head in terms of damages to infrastructure and agriculture, mostly in Mindanao.

The storm dealt an initially estimated P3.36 billion worth of damage to crops, livestock and fisheries in Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Northern Mindanao, Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley, and Davao Oriental, according to the NDRRMC.

Damage to infrastructure like roads, bridges, flood control system, and irrigation in those areas has been initially assessed at P630.97 million, the agency said.

The figures are expected to rise further when more reports come in from damage assessment teams.

The OCD-11 said in its report that agriculture damage in Compostela Valley alone has reached P3.4 billion, as more than 50,000 hectares of land planted with rice, corn, coconut, banana, vegetables, and other high-value crops were destroyed.

5 million affected, 26 areas under ‘calamity’

The storm affected 5,141,356 people in Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao, and Caraga, according to the NDRRMC.

An estimated 15,850 houses were damaged and destroyed, forcing 310,620 people to remain in evacuation centers or take shelter at the homes of relatives and friends, the agency said.

Local authorities have declared the entire provinces of Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, Surigao del Sur, and Siquijor under state of calamity, according to the NDRRMC.

Also placed under calamity status are Magsaysay, Araceli, Roxas, San Vicente, Taytay, El Nido, and Cagayancillo of Palawan; Baloi, Kapatagan, Kauswagan, Linamon, Matungao, Pantar, Pantao Ragat, and Salvador of Lanao del Norte; Gitagum, Kinoguitan, Lagonglong, Laguindingan, Libertad, Opol, Talisayan, Gingoog City, and Cagayan de Oro City of Misamis Oriental; Lopez Jaena and Plaridel, Misamis Occidental; as well as Asuncion and San Isidro of Davao del Norte. (John Roson)

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274 dead in ‘Pablo’ onslaught

Pablo making landfall in Baganga, Davao Oriental, Tuesday morning. (Photo courtesy of Army 701st Brigade)

Pablo making landfall in Baganga, Davao Oriental, Tuesday morning. (Photo courtesy of Army 701st Brigade)

(Updated 10 p.m.) Some 274 people were killed while 279 went missing as typhoon “Pablo” (international name: Bopha) ravaged Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, and nearby areas, authorities said Wednesday.

The huge death toll was made known only a day after “Pablo” struck, as electricity and communication lines were either shut down or cut off, preventing authorities from contacting “isolated” villages.

Four were killed in Central Visayas, two in Eastern Visayas, eight in Northern Mindanao, 253 in Southern Mindanao, the region of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental, while seven were killed in Caraga, Office of Civil Defense administrator Benito Ramos said by phone Wednesday night.

“Three-hundred and thirty-nine were injured and 279 are still missing,” Ramos said.

Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental are considered as the “hard-hit” areas, not only because of the high number of deaths but also because of heavy damage to properties and infrastructure, Ramos said in an earlier interview.

Earlier, Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza, spokesman of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division based in Compostela Valley, said at least 142 people were killed in the province.

Homes, Army detachment washed out

Pablo's devastation. (Photo courtesy of Army 701st Brigade)

Pablo’s devastation. (Photo courtesy of Army 701st Brigade)

Most of the fatalities were victims of a mudslide in New Bataan, and floods in Monkayo, Paniza said.

Three soldiers of the Army’s 66th Infantry Battalion – identified as identified as Ssgt. Olivares, Ssgt. Cabillion, and Ssgt. Catague – were among those killed in a mudslide in Brgy. Andap, New Bataan.

“‘Yung detachment or patrol base doon sa area, pati ‘yung mga kalapit na bahay, na-wash out,” he said.

Paniza said 58 people, including soldiers Sgt. Panague, Pfc. Armodia, Pfc. Batua, Sgt. Conejos, Pfc. Hingosa, Pfc. Hopeda, Pfc. Jegapo, and Pfc. Aranez, are still missing in Compostela Valley.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in Manila said many of those who died in New Bataan remain unidentified.

Winds brought down evacuation center, moved Army trucks

Evacuees taking shelter behind the wall of an evacuation center whose roof was blown away by Pablo's strong winds. (Photo courtesy of Army 701st Brigade)

Evacuees taking shelter behind the wall of an evacuation center whose roof was blown away by Pablo’s strong winds. (Photo courtesy of Army 701st Brigade)

In its report Wednesday afternoon, the Davao Oriental Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) reported 116 deaths in the province alone.

Fifty-nine were killed in Cateel, followed by 31 in Baganga, 15 in Boston, nine in Caraga town, and one each in Manay and Taragona.

Twenty-one people in different towns were still missing, according to the 5 p.m. PDRRMC report.

Lt. Zaida Vidad, acting spokesperson of the Army’s 701st Brigade based in Mati City, said the fatalities include 11 people who were killed when an evacuation center collapsed in Cateel due to strong winds.

“Malakas na hangin ang kanilang naramdaman… ang pagka-explain sa akin ng hepe ko doon, umaangat ‘yung Army trucks, gumagalaw sa lakas ng hangin, nadadala ng hangin,” Senior Supt. Rommil Mitra, Davao Oriental provincial police director, said in a separate phone interview Tuesday night.

Almost all buildings and houses in Brgy. Poblacion, Cateel, were left “roofless,” Mitra added.

More than 200 houses, various infrastructure, and communication towers were destroyed by strong winds, according to the PDRRMC.

Agricultural lands and livestock in Boston suffered severe damages, it added.

21 killed in other areas

Evacuees use a tent to shield themselves from rain beside the evacuation center whose roof was blown away. (Photo courtesy of Army 701st Brigade)

Evacuees use a tent to shield themselves from rain beside the evacuation center whose roof was blown away. (Photo courtesy of Army 701st Brigade)

The NDRRMC, meanwhile, said 21 other people were killed in storm-related incidents in Surigao del Sur (4), Misamis Oriental (4), Agusan del Sur (3), Misamis Occidental (2), Bukidnon (2), Negros Oriental (2), Cebu (1), Siquijor (1), Northern Samar (1), and Southern Leyte (1).

Most of these fatalities were hit by falling trees or victims of drowning, according to the NDRRMC.

Power still out in many areas

As of 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, various parts of Cagayan de Oro City, Malaybalay City and Valencia City in Bukidnon, Surigao del Sur, Asudan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Lanao del Sur, and Mabinay in Negros Oriental were still experiencing power outages, the NDRRMC said.

Power and communications lines are also still down in the hard-hit areas of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental, the council said.

As of 8 p.m., the center of “Pablo” was spotted 160 kilometers north-west of Roxas, Palawan, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration.

The storm, moving west-northwest at a speed of 15 kilometers per hour, is packing maximum sustained winds of 120 kph and a gustiness of up to 150 kph, according to the state weather bureau.

When it made landfall in Davao Oriental Tuesday morning, “Pablo” had maximum sustained winds of 175 kph and a gustiness of up to 210 kph.

“Pablo,” the strongest storm to hit the country this year, is expected to be 510 kilometers west of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, Thursday afternoon and 700 kilometers west of Subic, Zambales, outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility, Friday afternoon. (John Roson)

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