LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – At least two people were reported dead in the island province of Catanduanes, as Typhoon Karen hammered across the Bicol region Saturday, October 15.
The Philippine National Police regional command identified one of the casualties as Felicito Tesorero, a 79-year-old farmer, while the other one was found along the shores of Sitio Bitaogan, Barangay Binanwahan Bato town, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office in Catanduanes reported here.
Maria Luisa Calubaquid, PNP Bicol regional spokesperson, said Tesorero suffered a heart attack as Karen battered the province.
She also said that 3 fishermen were reported missing – Zaldy De Jesus and Luis Tupig of Barangay Buenavista, and Renerio del Valle, a resident of Barangay Tambongo, Viga Catanduanes.
Karen has prompted the evacuation of 15,971 people across the region as of 6 pm Saturday: 8,648 in Catanduanes, 5,762 in Albay, 1,316 in Camarines Sur, 110 in Sorsogon, 78 in Camarines Norte, and 57 in Naga City.
Mayor Noel Rosal of Legazpi City had earlier enforced pre-emptive evacuation of residents in coastal areas, following storm surges. He included residents living along river channels within the foot of Mayon volcano.
In Libon, Albay, the local government unit conducted pre-emptive evacuation too, as flood waters continued to rise close to Bato Lake due to heavy rainfall.
Military trucks carried out the evacuation of residents in Libon town affected by rising flood waters.
Fallen trees and electric posts along Maharlika Highways, specifically in Albay, also reported causing power failure here.
Local government units across the region also enforced pre-emptive evacuation of residents living in landslide-prone areas and the eastern seaboard of Albay because of possible storm surges.
The Office of Civil Defense and Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC) led by Bernardo Rafaelito Alejandro reported that torrential rains brought by tropical storm Karen resulted in sporadic landslides across the region.
Torrential rains and moderate to strong winds have been pounding the Bicol region since Friday. All flights in Bicol were cancelled by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) due to stormy weather and all sea travels suspended here, Alejandro said.
Flash floods, stranded passengers
The cancellation of all flights in Bicol also prompted the cancellation of the Miss Earth Swimsuit competition scheduled in Sorsogon province Sunday, along with environment-related events of Miss Earth candidates.
Flashfloods were reported at the National Highway of Barangay Divino Rostro, San Andres, Catanduanes. The area is not passable to light vehicles. Massive flooding was also reported in Naga City
Power supply was also cut off across the Bicol region due to fallen trees. Mayor Jaime Villanueva of Tiwi town reported a landslide in the upland barangay of Maynonong. Villanueva also evacuated residents living in landslide-prone and coastal villages following storm surges.
Cedric Daep, Apsemo chief directed all mayors in Albay to be on alert as flooding might occur anytime after torrential rains. Daep also warned residents to stay indoors as part of precautionary measures.
OCD-Bicol reported at least 2,803 stranded passengers in various seaports of Bicol, mostly in Matnog, Sorsogon bound for the Visayan and Mindanao regions. – Rappler.com