1 dead, 1 missing due to monsoon rains in Zambales

Randy Datu
1 dead, 1 missing due to monsoon rains in Zambales
Olongapo City rescue officials identify the fatality as Maria Veronica Rafael of Otero Avenue in Barangay Mabayuan

OLONAGPO CITY, Philippines – Rain from the southwest monsoon enhanced by Tropical Depression Josie over the weekend left one dead in Olongapo City, with another said to be missing in Subic Bay Freeport.

Olongapo City rescue officials identified the fatality as Maria Veronica Rafael, 35, of Otero Avenue in Barangay Mabayuan. She was trapped inside her home when a landslide occurred Sunday evening, July 22. 

Five others were also injured as a result of the landslide. Olongapo City’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office identified those injured as:

  • Richard Sebastian, 47
  • Bryan Joseph Belleza, 36
  • Armarie Jimenez, 17
  • Kyle Sebastian Rafael, 10
  • Clyde Czelshey Rafael, 6.

In Barangay Santa Rita, a 15-year-old boy was found inside a void space after a landslide covered their home. He was immediately brought to the James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital to undergo medical treatment. Barangay officials in Mabayuan evacuated affected families to the barangay hall after another separate landslide occurred in the same barangay.

Some 661 families or 2,088 individuals were taken to various evacuation centers here with most of the evacuees coming from Barangay Santa Rita, a low-lying village which was heavily affected by flooding..

City residents also experienced power outages since Sunday afternoon, with some areas lacking water supply.

City Mayor Rolen Paulino on Sunday, suspended classes in all levels on Monday and Tuesday, July 23 to 24, and declared administrative leave for government employees on Monday.

Meanwhile, a landslide along Aparri Road inside the Subic Bay Freeport in Zambales reportedly trapped a still-unidentified security guard who is now missing and presumed dead. 

Rescuers managed to pull out another security guard from the mud caused by the landslide.

A landslide along the Tipo Road of the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) also caused headaches for motorists passing the area.

Power outages are expected to continue affecting the whole of Zambales on Monday.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said floodwaters entered their control center, forcing them to cut the supply of power to the Olongapo Electricity and Distribution Company (OEDC) and the Zambales Electric Cooperative (ZAMECO) temporarily. – Rappler.com

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