MANILA, Philippines – Local authorities in Biliran province confirmed on Sunday, December 17, the death of more than 20 people in a landslide triggered by Tropical Storm Urduja during the weekend.
According to the latest record from the Biliran Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, at least 26 people were confirmed dead while 23 others remain missing.
“There is a total of 26 people dead from landslides in four towns of Biliran. We have recovered the bodies,” said provincial disaster risk reduction and management officer Sofronio Dacillo.
‘Urduja’ (international name: Kai-tak) wreaked havoc in Eastern Visayas region, forcing around 88,000 people to flee their homes.
Most of the deaths were recorded in the towns of Caibiran, Naval and Almeria. In Naval alone, 23 people are missing and believed to be buried in the rubbles.
As of 6:00 am, 7 bodies were recovered in Barangay Lucson, Naval. They have been identified as Inday Caliao (56); Alina Caliao (7); John Carlo Caliao (12); Edgar Batister (47); Mary Jean Batister (45); Kevin Batister (9); and Napoleon Cadeon (37)
In Barangay Iyusan, Almeria 4 casualties were identified, namely: Jimmy Jorge (2); Winnie Garbo (55) Wilma Garbo (12); and Maribeth Garbo (50).
Retrieval operation is ongoing in all the barangays affected. In Barangay Lucson, local authorities reportedly discovered signs of life underneath the rubbles and at least one of the trapped residents has called using a mobile phone.
Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to visit Biliran island-province on Monday afternoon.