ILOILO, Philippines – It was a tragic Christmas for one family in this province as 6 of them died after being swept away by strong floodwaters brought by Typhoon Ursula (Phanfone) on Wednesday, December 25.
Roel De Asis, along with his 4 children aged 3, 8, 13, and 15, of neighboring Barotac Nuevo, was visiting Batad town for the wake of his father when the storm battered the province.
Jerry Bionat, head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, said De Asis, along with his children and some relatives, were wading through thigh-high floodwaters to find higher ground when they were swept away by a current.
He said De Asis, 3 of his children, his nephew, and his niece, were found in a ricefield hours later, while two of his relatives survived after they were able to hold on to a tree.
His other child, an 8-year-old boy, is still missing as of writing.
Bionat said De Asis’ wife, an overseas Filipino worker, was in Manila as she was scheduled to fly to Kuwait on Christmas Day. She instead went home to Iloilo on Thursday, December 26.
The members of the De Asis family were among 10 fatalities in this province. The other 4 were from Balasan town.
One of the fatalities, according to Bionat, suffered cardiac arrest following the heavy rains and strong winds brought by the typhoon.
Bionat also said that search and rescue operations are still ongoing as 6 persons remain missing in the province.
Meanwhile, the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in Western Visayas reported 5,717 families, or 21,956 individuals, were affected by “Ursula.”
Of the number, 3,643 families or 14,515 persons were from Iloilo, 1,214 families or 3,956 individuals from Capiz, 498 families or 2,213 from Antique, and 259 families or 1,272 individuals from Aklan.
The data also said 13 fatalities were reported in the region: 9 in Iloilo and 4 in Capiz. – Rappler.com