At least nine people were killed, and nine others were missing after Severe Tropical Storm “Jolina” (Conson) brought strong winds and heavy rains that triggered flash flooding in Eastern Visayas provinces, authorities in the region said Wednesday.
Jolina made its eighth landfall on San Juan, Batangas last night and passed neighboring San Nicolas town toward Cavite in exiting the Luzon landmass.
Meanwhile, typhoon “Kiko” slightly intensified while moving west southwestward over the Philippine Sea.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration on Wednesday warned Bulacan residents of possible floods due to release of waters at the Ipo Dam.
The weather bureau’s Hydrometeorology Division cautioned those living along the low-lying areas and those near the bank of the Angat River in Norzagaray, Angat, San Rafael, Bustos, Baliuag, Pulilan, Plaridel and Hagonoy towns to stay alert for possible flash floods.
The dam’s spilling level was 101 meters, but as of 6 a.m. yesterday, Ipo’s water elevation was at 101.23 meters and continuously increasing, forcing dam managers to conduct an initial discharge of 55 centimeters.
Tropical cyclone wind signal no. 2 was raised over Metro Manila, the northern portion of Oriental Mindoro, the northern portion of Occidental Mindoro, including Lubang Islands, the central portion of Quezon, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, the southern portion of Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales and Tarlac due to Jolina.
Signal no. 1 was hoisted over Marinduque, La Union, the southern portion of Benguet, the southern portion of Nueva Vizcaya, the southern portion of Aurora, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, the rest of Bulacan, the northern and southern portions of Quezon, including Polillo Islands, the central portion of Oriental Mindoro and the central portion of Occidental Mindoro.
In Samar, the casualties from Jolina were identified as Ryan Jerusalem, 33, from Tarangnan; Roy Carcellar, 52, and Mark Jhun Nierras, 22, from Daram; Bienvenido Marquez, 65, from Catbalogan City; and Alejandro Solayao, Sanieboy Ibayan, Joseph Imnas, and Benedicto De Paz, all from Tacloban City, who went fishing in the waters off Santo Niño in the province.
All victims were fishermen who were caught off guard as the storm rapidly intensified into a typhoon and made landfall over Samar and Eastern Samar on Tuesday.
In Maasin City, Southern Leyte, the victim was identified as Marcelo Sumarca Lolo, 22, who sustained a fatal head injury against a seawall after he tried to save a floating raft from the strong waves in Barangay Tagnipa.
“Typhoon Jolina was really surprising. Its rapid development into a typhoon really caught us all in shock that we never prepared that much. But we are generally safe now,” said Ronan Napoto of Quinapondan, Eastern Samar.
As of Wednesday morning, electricity had been restored in most of the affected areas.
“Together with our neighbors, we are all trying to clean up the mess that Jolina left us. This will again consume so much of our time that could have been spent looking for a living,” Napoto added.
The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) also mobilized its line crews and assessed the impact of the storm on its operations and facilities.
According to the NGCP, simultaneous restoration activities were conducted on the areas that were already accessible.
Transmission lines that were restored included Paranas-Bliss 69kV in Samar and Calbayog-Bliss 69kV affecting Samar consumers; and Paranas-Borongan-Quinapondan 69kV and Sta. Rita-Quinapondan 69kV affecting Eastern Samar.
Meanwhile, a 27-year-old water boy died of electrocution Wednesday after he accidentally held on to a lamp post while he was submerged in the flooded water caused by the storm.
Police identified the victim as Donde Dejano of Ormoc City.
In Santo Niño, police and rescue personnel rescued a total of 51 survivors who were trapped during the onslaught of the typhoon.
Initial information released by the Police Regional Office on Wednesday said the missing persons were from Zumarraga, Samar; Tanauan and Tolosa, Leyte; and Caibiran, Kawayan, and Culaba, Biliran.
Lt. Col. Ma. Bella Rentuaya, police regional spokesperson, said a total of 1,745 evacuation centers were also established across the region.
Nine ships, 336 vehicles, and 1,122 individuals were stranded in various ports in Northern Samar and Eastern Samar. However, no major infrastructures were damaged during the typhoon.
Packing maximum sustained winds of 95 kms/h near the center, gustiness of up to 160 kms/h, and central pressure of 998 hPa, “Jolina” was moving northwestward at 15 kms/h.
Meanwhile, the center of the eye of “Kiko” was estimated to be 1,120 kms east of Central Luzon.
With maximum sustained winds of 155 kms/h near the center, gustiness of up to 190 kms/h, and central pressure of 965 hPa, “Kiko” was moving west southwestward at 20 kms/h.
Jolina is forecast to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Thursday evening or early Friday.