Ursula death toll climbs to 19

Houses made of light materials are no match to Typhoon Ursula. (Photo courtesy of the Office of Presidential Assistant for Visayas)

By: Jennifer P. Rendon 

Typhoon Ursula (international name: Phanfone) has claimed 19 lives in Panay Island, latest reports from the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC)-6 indicated.

Iloilo province topped the list with 13 deaths while Capiz has four casualties and Aklan with two.

Batad town in Iloilo recorded seven casualties. Three of them are Roel de Asis, Sr. 40, and his children Rosa Mae “Meme” de Asis, 14, and Rhiana “Yanyan” de Asis, 3.

The de Asis family died of drowning after being swept by a flash flood while on their way to an evacuation center around 2 a.m. of Dec. 25.

Two of their relatives, Elgie “Angga” de Asis and Ronilo “Dagul” Evangelio, both 12 years old, also died of drowning. Their bodies were recovered several hours later.

Eduardo Arbis Alvarez, 77, of Batad died after a tree fell on his house.

Another Batad casualty was identified as Jayboy Lazaga Lamato.

In Carles, the fatality was identified as 40-year old Abe Tolosa Ignacio while Estancia also recorded its lone death with 39-year old Romel delos Santos Gonzales.

The reported casualties in Balasan were Danilo Abendanio, 62; Henry “Dodok” Alfuente, 56; Joemar dela Cruz, 30; and Claudia Aplomina, 50.

Interestingly, Abendanio, Alfuente, and Aplomina allegedly died of cardiac arrest at the evacuation center.

Dela Cruz, on the other hand, died of drowning.

In Aklan, the casualties were identified as Victorio Baitista who was pinned by a coconut tree in Batan town and Basilio Gregorio who died in New Washington after he was hit with falling debris from a house.

The fatalities in Capiz were identified as John Dial, 15, of Pilar town; Janine Lacorte Llano, 13, of Mambusao; Merlinda Delatina Baquilar, 53, of Pontevedra; and Edward Gautani, 12, of Pres. Roxas.

Dial and Baquilar died of drowning while Gautani was hit by a toppled tree.

As of this writing, eight persons remain missing.

In Capiz, still missing are Leonel Flores Baria, 43, and Joel Balasa Baria, 69, both of Barangay Manapao, Pontevedra, Capiz.

Four persons are still missing in Carles – Glenn Dejusco, Eduardo Ferrer, Roger Sulieta, and Regie de Justo.

The other de Asis child, 12-year old Roel alias Moymoy, remains missing, too.

In Passi City, 26-year-old Jerald Franco Maming has yet to be found.

Edwin Alvarez and Shine de Ramos, 17, both of Barangay Binon-an, Batad, were brought to Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City for treatment.

OCD-6 also reported that Ursula affected 5,717 families composed of 21,956 individuals.

Of the affected families, 498 were from the Antique, 1,317 from Capiz, 259 from Aklan, and 3,643 from Iloilo.



Different local government units (LGUs) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-6 released P766,440 worth of assistance to the affected areas.

Records indicated that LGUs in Capiz and Iloilo released P523,440 worth of assistance.

DSWD, on the other hand, released P243,000.

The help came in the form of family food packs and provision of non-food items for the municipalities of Dao, Sigma and Panitan in Capiz; and Sara in Iloilo Province.

As of this writing, the DSWD said it continues to receive additional reports from other localities affected by Ursula, particularly in Aklan, which was badly hit by the storm.

Due to massive power supply loss in Northern Iloilo, Capiz and Aklan, transmission of reports had been difficult for field-based workers.

The number of affected families grew to 14,558 as of 8:30 p.m. Thursday when employees were able to find mobile phone charging stores. These families are composed of 66,994 persons from 193 barangays.

Among areas affected are Dao, Cuartero, Ivisan, Maayon, Mambusao, Sapian, Sigma, Panitan and Pilar in Capiz; Sara, Balasan, San Dionisio, Banate, Passi City and Estancia in Iloilo.

The DSWD clarified that the report does not include affected families in Aklan.

Records also revealed that there are still 1,548 families composed of 5,608 persons who are taking temporary shelters in evacuation centers.

Some 1,937 families composed of 7,998 persons, on the other hand, are temporarily staying with their relatives and friends.