Urduja leaves 23 dead, 26 missing in Biliran province

Tacloban City – Tropical Storm Urduja claimed 23 lives while 26 are still missing in the province of Biliran in a catastrophe largely caused by extraordinary volume of rainwater bought by the typhoon.
   
A fatality in Caibiran, Biliran believed to have been carried away by mudslide to the rice field. Caibiran posted the most of casualties with 23 dead. (Photo credit: Bert Padilla)
In the latest assessment conducted by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), Caibiran has the most number of casualties with 14 while Nava has 4. Almeria reported 4 deaths while Biliran has 1. 

The MDRRMO of Naval, however, is still expecting that the number of casualties will rise with the recovery of missing persons in Brgy. Lucsoon. A huge part of the barangay was covered with mud due to landslide. 

Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Assistant Secretary Jonji Gonzales said that residents in Naval, Biliran are now appealing for water following the onslaught of Typhoon Urduja that displaced 18,000 families, and left 20 people trapped in the rubbles. 

Gonzales said the mayor of Naval, Biliran, Gerard Roger Espina, confided to OPAV team that conducted aerial damage assessment with the Central Command, that the people of Naval, Biliran are facing danger of losing potable water supply in the next three to four days. 

Presidential assistant for the Visayas, Michael Dino instructed Gonzales to coordinate with the Armed Forces of the Philippines in assessing areas hit by the typhoon so that government agencies tasked for relief efforts will be guided according to the immediate needs of the people. 

The assistant secretary quoted Espina as saying that the town’s water supply was damaged due to severe flooding and labdslide in the area. 

“The people of Naval plea for water. OPAV is calling on the Cebuanos to respond as we are the only waypoint that can bring bottled water supply to Biliran,” Gonzales said. 

He said supplies from other areas in Eastern Visayas could not reach Biliran as of the moment because the typhoon badly damaged roads. Ormoc and Tacloban are the only two of the strategic waypoints to Biliran. 

Gonzales also plea for search and rescue teams from Cebu to help in rescuing 20 people who remain trapped in the rubbles, and relief goods for 4,000 people (1,394 families) in the evacuation areas. OPAV has requested DPWH District Engineer to conduct 24 hour search and rescue operation. 

Currently OPAV is directly coordinating with OCD 8 and Central Command to airlift rescuers from Tacloban. MGB7 also committed to send rescuers from Atlas Mining to Naval, Biliran to hasten the rescue of the trap residents at Barangay Lucsoon, Naval, Biliran. (BMA with reports from OPAV)

Caraycaray Bridge in Naval Biliran has been totally wrecked due to massive floodwaters brought about by Tropical Storm Urduja leaving Biliran's capital isolated from the rest of Eastern Visayas.
(Photo credit: OPAV)

Caraycaray Bridge in Naval Biliran has been totally wrecked due to massive floodwaters brought about by Tropical Storm Urduja leaving Biliran's capital isolated from the rest of Eastern Visayas.
(Photo credit: OPAV)

Barangay Lucsoon, Naval Biliran ongoing retrieval operation of the 20 trapped residents. Authorities discovered signs of life underneath the rubbles and recently a trapped resident called using a mobile phone. 7 dead bodies have been recovered. Equipment and more manpower is on its way to Naval, Biliran. (Photo credit: OPAV)


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