In Lanao del Norte, flood victims forced to stay at funeral homes for Christmas

Roxanne Arevalo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 24 2017 05:57 PM

Authorities recover a body from a mud-covered area in Tubod town, Lanao del Norte. Relatives, many of whom survived the deadly flash floods and landslides, await the arrival of bodies at funeral homes. Vicmar Paloma

TUBOD, Lanao del Norte—Authorities on Sunday continued recovery operations of bodies in the aftermath of typhoon Vinta.

They used dogs to sniff under piles of logs and rocks to locate victims in Tubod, Salvador and Munai, 3 towns badly affected by the tropical storm.

The provincial disaster risk reduction and management office has recorded 60 persons killed and more than 300 missing. 

Some of the affected families stayed at funeral homes, hoping missing relatives are found. Others planned to stay there even on Christmas eve.

“Patay o buhay, ang mahalaga mahanap namin sila,” Melicia Dejos said. 

On Sunday morning, Governor Imelda Dimaporo flew by helicopter with the military to check the magnitude of the devastation. 

Twelve towns hit by flooding saw damaged homes and properties, as well as livestock. 

The provincial government placed Lanao del Norte under a state of calamity Saturday afternoon following deaths and devastation caused by typhoon Vinta.

The storm left the Philippine area of responsibility around Sunday noon.

On Sunday, Dimaporo said quarries are to blame for the deadly landslides, as mud and boulders from deforested mountains surrounding the southern province crashed down the towns of Tubod, Salvador and Munai.

"Iyung mga quarry rito, pinagbibigyan ng DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources). Hindi ko maintindihan why they were able to operate," she said.