ILOCOS SUR CUTOFF Quirino Bridge in Bantay town, Ilocos Sur, had two sections washed away by the swelling, raging river, its water thickened with mud, during the onslaught of Typhoon “Egay” in northern Luzon on Wednesday. Among the worst hit by the typhoon, Ilocos Sur and neighboring Ilocos Norte have been declared under a state of calamity. —John Noel Andaya/CONTRIBUTOR
At least 25 people, including children, drowned after a motorized banca they were riding on Laguna Lake was overturned by strong winds and big waves whipped up by Typhoon “Egay” (international name: Doksuri) as it was blowing northwest out of the country on Thursday.
Authorities rescued 40 others as MBCA Princess Aya sank about 50 meters from the shore of Barangay Kalinawan in Binangonan, Rizal province, on its way to Talim Island, according to a report by Police Maj. Rhonnie Ariola, the officer in charge of the municipal police station.
The Rizal provincial police office said that two crew members were among those who drowned.
An initial Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) report said Princess Aya left for Barangay Gulod on Talim Island, also part of Binangonan, about 8.5 kilometers south of Kalinawan, at around 12:30 p.m. The trip was supposed to take about an hour.
Shortly after departure, the boat “encountered strong winds, prompting all passengers to panic and went to the port (left) side,” which caused it to flip over.
Among those who died was a boy wearing a blue Captain America shirt.
According to a partial list of survivors prepared by Kalinawan barangay officers, the youngest surviving passenger was a 13-year-old boy and the oldest was a 71-year-old man.
The temporary suspension of ferry services due to the typhoon was lifted, based on a sea travel advisory published by the Coast Guard Station-Rizal at 8 p.m. on Wednesday.
Rizal PCG commander Arjohn Belumba cited the lifting of the tropical wind cyclone signal over the province in allowing vessels to resume sailing.
With 11 others killed in the typhoon—four in the Cordillera Region, three in Ilocos Sur province, one in the Calabarzon Region and three in Negros Occidental—the typhoon death toll has risen to 36.
The Negros Occidental disaster office said all three people drowned—two at sea and one in a river.
Victor Mahilum Moreno Jr., 32, a construction worker, was found on the shore of Purok Sigay, Barangay Singcang-Airport, in Bacolod City, around 3 p.m. on Tuesday.
The body of Arnold Billojan, 48, was found floating in the waters off Barangay 2, Quincihan in Hinigaran by a fisherman about 7 a.m. on Wednesday, a day after he was reported missing.
Police said 19-year-old Richard Espinosa tried to swim across Mansilingan River where he had been fishing but was swept away by the strong current. His body was found floating on a river in Murcia town at 12:20 p.m. on Wednesday.
The PCG said four of its rescuers went missing after their boat capsized in the Cagayan River around 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
They were headed to the MTug Iroquis to rescue seven crew members of the tugboat off Aparri town.
New LPA spotted
By Thursday afternoon, Egay was spotted about 280 km west-northwest of Itbayat, Batanes province, packing sustained winds of 150 km per hour and gusts of up to 185 kph, according to the weather bureau.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said that a new low pressure area (LPA) might enter the country in the next few days.
It has a high chance of developing into a tropical depression or typhoon in the next two days and may enter the country by Saturday.
The LPA is expected to strengthen the southwest monsoon “in the next few days,” said weather specialist Benison Estareja.
State of calamity
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Egay, which had gained supertyphoon strength as it entered the country, affected 382,385 people in 11 regions from Luzon to Mindanao.
As many as 26,697 sought shelter in 206 evacuation centers in areas affected by floods and landslides, the NDRRMC said.
Ilocos Norte province had been declared under a state of calamity.
On Thursday, workers continued to remove massive trees toppled by Egay’s winds, which hampered the restoration of electricity in the province and Baguio City.
Ilocos Sur, Cavite and Sablayan town in Occidental Mindoro also declared a state of calamity.
The two Ilocos provinces were the hardest hit by the typhoon, which battered them on Tuesday and Wednesday.
—WITH REPORTS FROM FRANCES MANGOSING, ABBY BOISER, VINCENT CABREZA, CARLA GOMEZ, JOHN MICHAEL MUGAS, DELFIN T. MALLARI JR. AND MADONNA T. VIROLA
PCG reports 30 ‘casualties’ after motorbanca capsizes off Binangonan, Rizal
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