10 dead, 27 injured in floods, landslides triggered by 'Paeng'
Quezon City (30 October) -- At least 10 people were killed while no less than 27 others were injured as super typhoon Paeng (international codename: Cimaron) triggered landslides and floods in northern Luzon.
Paeng, the second major typhoon to hit the Philippines in as many months, packed maximum winds of 105 mph and gusts of up to 130 mph when it came ashore.
It was forecast to exit the region in the direction of Vietnam later Monday. Winds had dropped to 75 mph, with gusts up to 94 mph, by midday, although forecasters said it was likely to intensify again over open water.
Five people were reported drowned or killed by falling trees and at least 16 injured in the coastal town of Dinapigue in Isabela province.
Police in Isabela, about 210 miles northeast of Manila, also reported that a 29-year-old farmer drowned when his boat overturned amid strong currents.
Landslides killed a four-year-old girl in Benguet province, while a 53-year-old man was crushed to death in Kalinga province.
Another mother and her two children were also injured in yet another landslide at Tiptop village in nearby Baguio City, some 130 km north of Metro Manila.
In Aurora province, a flying galvanized iron sheet crushed a 28-year-old mother and her six-year-old son.
The province has been without electricity since Sunday night.
Meanwhile in La Union, a 27-year-old woman was killed while seven others were wounded after the passenger bus they boarded figured in a freak road mishap amid heavy rains.
In another related development, the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council in Ilocos reported that at least 31 children were rescued from a children's center in Aringay town in La Union.
Also rescued were eight teenagers, nine adults and four kitchen staff of the International Summer Village at Barangay Samara, Arinag, La Union.
In Camp Aguinaldo, the NDCC said Paeng caused at least P15.4 million in damage to agriculture, not counting the fish that "escaped" from fishpens destroyed by the super-typhoon.
"The earlier estimate of the Department of Agriculture of a P1.1 billion damage did not materialize. We only had less than P20 million in damages," said Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz, NDCC chair.
Paeng rendered at least six provinces in Northern and Southern Luzon without power, as it forced the local National Transmission Co. (Transco) to cut power to three main lines.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, on a visit to China, called for prayers Sunday as she ordered schools and government work suspended. Domestic flights to the north were canceled.
Cruz informed the President via telephone conversation of the extent of the damage and that families in Casiguran, Aurora have began returning to their homes.
"They are all safe. Those whom we subjected to mandatory evacuation have already returned in Casiguran," Cruz said.
Although the typhoon did not appear to be drenching the mudslide-prone area as badly as feared, rising rivers made at least five bridges impassable. Officials said water was released from at least one major dam to prevent overflowing.
The typhoon threatened commemorations for Wednesday's All Saints' Day, a public holiday when millions travel to cemeteries to remember their dead, some leaving days in advance for outlying provinces. Officials warned people to cancel trips to threatened areas. (PIA) [top]