At least 36 people, including children, were reported dead as of late Friday while an undetermined number of families were left homeless after Tropical Storm “Sendong” brought heavy rains and flooding in Dumaguete City and other parts of Negros Oriental.
The casualties included those from Valencia, Dumaguete and Sibulan, and police said the number could still rise as many persons are still missing.
The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, however, is still collating data from the towns and cities affected by the typhoon.
In Dumaguete City, major thoroughfares and interior roads were submerged in water. Several houses along the Banica River were carried downstream by flashfloods that also damaged the new Banica Bridge.
The bridge was temporarily closed to traffic as its footing had reportedly became unstable.
Low-cost housing sites in Candauay, Camanjac and Junob were also flooded, and many were evacuated to safer ground.
Furniture, livestock, and homes made of light material were also washed away by floodwaters in other parts of the city.
A bridge in Amlan became impassable Friday, and another in Tanjay City was also closed.
All spillways in Valencia town, host of the Palinpinon Geothermal power plants, were sealed and landslides and land slips were reported everywhere.
The Energy Development Corporation said it shut down two of its power plants and Dumaguete and other areas covered by the Negros Oriental 2 Electric Cooperative experienced a power outage at around 6 a.m. Friday. Power was restored in some areas at 6 p.m.
The city council of Dumaguete immediately called for a special session, with Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria and other city officials present in the emergency meeting to declare Dumaguete under a state of calamity.
Some people called for assistance and asked for rubber boats for housing projects like Northville Subdivision and Judyville Subdivision in Sibulan town.
In Siaton town, at least 20 electric poles were reportedly toppled.
Meanwhile, relief assistance like used clothes, food stuffs and clothing has been pouring in.
A senior citizen from Valencia said he has not seen such flooding in 46 years, the last one was in 1965 when the spillway in Cambucad of that town was covered with boulders.
Another Valencia resident said he lost three motorcycles, a SUV and another car that were carried away by flashfloods.
Rocks, debris, trash, collapsed houses and felled trees and electric poles were seen in many areas in Dumaguete in what most people describe as the worst storm to hit the city in several years.*JFP
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At least four towns in Negros Oriental and Dumaguete City were hit by Typhoon Sendong over the weekend and 36 were confirmed dead from drowning in strong floods as of yesterday.
Dumaguete City, Sibulan, Valencia, Pamplona and San Jose towns in Negros Oriental suffered damage to properties and public infrastructures caused by TS Sendong that has to be ascertained by the authorities.
Gov. Roel Degamo immediately called on all Local Government Units to activate and mobilize Disaster Risks Reduction and Management Council in the city and towns.
Reports received from the Philippine Information Agency-Negros Oriental as of 8 p.m. Saturday gave the total number of casualties from badly hit towns at 33 dead. As of Dec. 17 the latest victims recovered from Sibulan were 14, Valencia 10, Dumaguete 6, San Jose, Pamplona, and Bacong 1 each.
Those confirmed dead and identified in Valencia town were Inocelio Iso 66, single, Juvy Aklan 17, single, Randy Aklan 10, Tessie Jiminez single, Silveria jiminez 40, married, Mylene Vendiola 30, married, Belmarie Vendiola 15, Jamaica Vendiola 7, AJ Paculanang 18, single, and Edwin Jesus Alcoriza 30, single.
The names of some casualties had yet to be ascertained as of press time yesterday.
The floods were caused by the overflowing of the Ocoy River in Sibulan, due to heavy rains spawned by Tropical Storm Sendong.
Earlier, in Dumaguete City, big waves spawned by Typhoon Sendong battered a ship as rescuers hold on to a rope as they formed a human chain to rescue 32 passengers and crew of the ill-fated M/V Ever Transport III that sank after running aground off Sitio Canday-ong, at 4 a.m. Saturday. Dumaguete City as well as the towns of Sibulan, Valencia and San Jose were badly affected by the massive flooding.*RG