Typhoon Dante leaves 25 dead in Bicol


Posted at May 05 2009 10:58 AM | Updated as of May 05 2009 06:58 PM

Twenty-five people have died and three more have been reported missing due to floods and landslides in Bicol, triggered by typhoon "Dante" (international codename Kujira), which grew stronger Tuesday as it moved away from the Philippines.

Bernardo Alejandro, Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) regional director, said 18 died in a landslide that hit Barangay Hubo in Magallanes town, Sorsogon province. He said the bodies of the victims have been retrieved.

In Irosin town also in Sorsogon, two-month-old Nicarose Habitan died after an uprooted tree fell on her. The typhoon also left three dead in Camarines Sur, two in Camarines Norte and one in Viga town, Catanduanes province, said Alejandro.

OCD-Bicol officials on Monday morning conducted an aerial survey to assess the damage left by the typhoon that ravaged the region over the weekend. The team went over the damaged Guinlanac Bridge in Barangay Guinlajon in Sorsogon City that has caused a long queue of stranded vehicles.

The OCD official's helicopter also went over Magallanes town, where a part of Barangay Hubo was almost wiped out by the landslide. A landslide also reportedly occurred in the northern part of Catanduanes province.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council on Tuesday said a total of 236,887 people in five provinces in Bicol have been displaced by the typhoon. It said that of the total number of displaced persons, only 54,308 are housed in 174 evacuation centers.

Alejandro said they have sought the assistance of the national government to aid in the recovery of thousands of families affected by the typhoon. The provincial government of Camarines Sur, where 4,000 people are affected by the typhoon, has declared a state of calamity over the weekend.

Weather bureau PAGASA said "Dante" was located 760 kilometers east northeast of Casiguran town, Aurora province as of 2 a.m. It was pacing maximum sustained winds of 130 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 160 kph.

It was moving east northeast at 19 kph. It was expected to move further away from the Philippine area of responsibility on Tuesday evening.


Meanwhile, PAGASA said Northern Luzon residents should watch out for a potential "super typhoon," which will be named "Emong."

PAGASA said the coming cyclone is already strong and may enter the country's area of responsibility through the western periphery.

The weather bureau said the typhoon may make landfall by Wednesday or Thursday in any Northern Luzon provinces.

It said the NDCC and provincial disaster coordinating units have been alerted over Emong's possible arrival. With reports from Jose Carretero and Erick Baldo, ABS-CBN Bicol