Two dead, 3 missing due to bad weather

By Rhaydz B. Barcia


At least two persons were found dead while three others remain missing in the aftermath of the bad weather condition in Bicol brought about by the tail-end of the cold front since New Year’s Eve until Sunday, Jan. 3.


Gremil Nas, Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Bicol spokesman, said the two fatalities were Edwin Ceciliano, 48, of Barangay 2, Garchitorena, Camarines Sur and Honel Monterde Medinilla, 28, of Sitio Dangray, Abucay, Pilar, Sorsogon.


Nas said Ceciliano lost his balance while crossing a bridge on his way home, fell and drowned. His body was swept by strong current or overflowing water. The victim’s body was retrieved last Jan. 2, 2021.


Monterde, on the otherhand, was swept by floods. His body was also retrieved on Jan. 2, Nas said.


He clarified that the reported casualty in Canaman, Camarines Sur was not related to the weather disturbance per Jan. 3, 2021 report of the Camarines Sur Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council.


Aside from two casualties, the OCD also reported three missing persons brought about by the weather disturbance.


Nas said that two unidentified fishermen from Garchitorena, Camarines Sur were reported missing since Dec. 30.


“The fishermen went to the open sea last Dec. 30, 2020 and have not returned yet as of to date. A 13-years old boy from Barangay Managanaga, Bulan, Sorsogon was also reported missing,” Nas said.


The bad weather disturbance caused heavy downpour in the region and triggered heavy flooding, landslides, mudslides and big waves.


Lucy Castañeda, DPWH Bicol spokesperson, said that as of 10:00 AM on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, the Sagñay-Tiwi road is totally closed for all types of vehicles due to landslides.


She said motorists passing through the Sagñay-Tiwi road, which connects Camarines Sur and Albay, is at great risk due to falling rocks and debris that intermittently slide down the road.


Reports said lahar also flowed down in low lying areas of Guinobatan town specifically in Barangays San Francisco and San Rafael due to torrential rain. A road in Sitio Tagbakan in Estanza, Legazpi City also reportedly collapsed due to heavy rains.


The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical and Services Administration (Pagasa) also raised a gale warning, which prohibited fishermen and small boats from venturing into the sea.