SEVEN persons in Central Visayas were killed, four of them in Cebu Province, when Typhoon Pablo swept through the region last Tuesday.
As of yesterday, 274 were confirmed dead and 339 were declared missing, many of them in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.
Damage to property is still being assessed in Region 7, but the official tally nationwide hit P178.3 million, about 96 percent of that in destroyed infrastructure.
Classes in Cebu are expected to resume today, with officials turning their attention to what help can be sent to other cities or provinces that were hit worse by Pablo’s gusts and rain.
The typhoon was 180 kilometers northwest of Northern Palawan at 10 last night, and is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility tomorrow night.
Although Cebu was not hit as badly as expected, four persons died during the typhoon.
Valentino Pimentel, 67, was pulling his carabao to safety at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday in Malabuyoc, Cebu, when a coconut tree fell and hit him, the police said.
Oryang Ceballos, 30, also in Malabuyoc, was sick and ready to be evacuated, when her parents briefly left her to move the children first, said Social Worker Elizabeth Nalo.
When the parents returned, the storm had destroyed their house, they found Ceballos dead under the debris.
The Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk-Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) identified the other fatalities as Arlene Pila, 44, from Barangay Granada, Boljoon town and Ruperta Diarca, 77, of Barangay Guadalupe, Alegria town.
Pila, a farmer, was reportedly on her way to the public market, carrying a basket of papayas when a coconut tree fell on her at 2 p.m. in Barangay Lower Becerril.
A town ambulance rushed her to the hospital but she died on the way, said Mayor Teresita Celis.
In Alegria, Wilson Ramos of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office said, rescuers found Diarca crushed inside his destroyed house in Barangay Guadalupe.
Three other casualties, according to a radio dyLA report, were Herbert Daniel from Lazi, Siquijor; and Quinito Salvacion and Regie Cadayday, 11, of Negros Oriental.
Daniel, 23, and Cadayday were both reportedly pinned by falling coconut trees. The report did not say how Salvacion died.
The PDRRMC listed two persons, a mother and son, as injured in Barangay Sta. Fe, Alegria. They remain unidentified. Dalaguete Mayor Ronald Cesante identified a third person, Judith Fuentes from Barangay Ablayan, as among those injured.
Storm signals for typhoon Pablo were lifted from Cebu yesterday by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pag-asa).
Only Mindoro and Palawan remained under storm warnings.
But at the height of the storm, the Delta 1 fast ferry reportedly capsized and went missing last Tuesday afternoon.
The vessel, carrying six crew members, reportedly departed from Larena Wharf in Siquijor at 4:30 p.m. to rescue another fast craft vessel that ran into engine trouble.
Capt. Anacleto Gabisan of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said that in the process of rescuing the other craft, the vessel reportedly capsized due to the strong winds in the area.
The PCG had reportedly not cleared the first fast craft’s departure. (Nationwide, more than 4,300 were stranded as the Coast Guard kept vessels from sailing, as a precaution.)
At 8:05 p.m., the Larena Police Station was informed that the vessel was missing.
A team led by Insp. Romel Timitim Luga proceeded to the Larena Wharf. Together with the PCG and the local government, they conducted a search and rescue operation in the coastal areas of Siquijor.
Six crew members of the fast craft were rescued near the wharf, the Coast Guard official said.
They were admitted to a hospital in Siquijor for a medical check-up, but had only minor injuries.
A cargo vessel also ran aground in Siquijor last Tuesday afternoon. The Euro 3 was anchored in the port of Maria, Siquijor when strong winds drove it closer to the shore.
A power barged also nearly submerged in Lazi, Siquijor.
The barge, owned by the National Power Corp., was battered by huge waves that hit the area.
As of yesterday, all vessels going to Bohol and other parts of the Visayas and Mindanao were allowed to sail.
However, trips from Manila and Batangas remained suspended since areas passing through these routes remained under storm warnings yesterday.
At the height of the typhoon, the Boljoon Police personnel also evacuated after water entered their office. Part of the town’s seawall reportedly collapsed, causing the seawater to encroach on roads.
At least 50 families in Boljoon, 209 in San Fernando, 23 in Borbon and 140 in Sibonga were transferred to different evacuation centers. (Sun Star)