FIRST seen as a negligible of a weather system – a low-pressure area -- Jolina turned out to be one vicious tropical cyclone, packing sustained winds of up to 165 kilometers per hour.
Typhoon Jolina’s sudden landfall (PAGASA blames the typhoon erratic movement for the flawed forecast) on the coastal islands of Samar would leave the unwary coastal villages with more deaths, missing fishermen, and a trail of extensive ruins.
In the province of Samar alone, 50 fishermen caught by Jolina at sea were rescued by the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (MDRRMO) of Sto. Nino – a Samar town.
The survivors were among the long list of missing persons reported earlier whose companions – Alejandro Solayao and Sonny Ibayan -- were among those that were first found washed in the waters of Baranggay Buenavista in Sto. Niño, Samar already dead.
Four more bodies would later be retrieved and identified as Joseph Imnas, Benedicto de Paz (both from Di-it, Tacloban), Roy Carcellar from Bgy. Cambuhay, and one identified only as “Ngula” believed to be from Libucan Dako, Tarangnan, Samar.
Another fisherman identified as Sofio Tonido was later found dead on the shores of Monbon.
More Deaths and survivors
Mark Jhun Nierras from Daram, Samar, was found dead after he and his brother Melchor Nierras, along with three others on board a fishing boat, encountered gigantic waves, which damaged their vessel. The group jumped into the waters and swam to the shores but lost Mark Jhun.
A 22-year-old Marcelo Lolo from Southern Leyte had also perished during the storm. He had a fatal head injury from attempting to save a floating cottage from banging onto the seawall.
Meanwhile, 65-year-old Bienvenido Marquez died after their fishing vessel capsized from the powerful waves, but the other seven members of his crew along with his son were rescued in Sto. Niño, Samar.
In Tanauan, Leyte, an 18-year-old minor named Nathaniel Ripalda drowned while swimming with friends in a still flooded tributary along Binahaan River. The waters along Binahaan have reached alert level warning because of the heavy downpours.
The government-owned Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported a total of 11 deaths, as per reports of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD).
A senior survived
In Tolosa, Leyte, a senior named Eildefonso Perigrino of the said coastal town was able to return home safely after being reported missing for almost 24 hours. He was caught by the strong waves when his boat drifted to the waters of Tanauan. Despite the powerful waves, he paddled his way back to the shores.
In the island province of Biliran, initial reports received by the PDRRMO said 68 motorboats were damaged.
At present, it is unclear whether the local government would compensate the affected fishermen. With their source of livelihood greatly affected, many hoped to get help from their LGU.
Members of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and other government agencies helped in clearing the typhoon debris in the affected areas.
Damage to Agriculture
A validated report by the Department of Agriculture said the damage and losses for rice in the region amounted to P38.1 million, as only 527 hectares of agricultural areas were damaged, affecting 792 farmers. The figure is significantly lower than the initial report which amounted to almost 180 M.
The travel suspensions that were issued in Allen ports because of Jolina’s threat were lifted on Wednesday, quickly resuming the port operations.
The two-day wait of travelers was eased off when personnel from the municipal police station of Allen, Northern Samar, gave away food packs to the stranded.
Meanwhile, in Balwhateco, Sta. Clara and Dapdap ports, 1,122 passengers were stranded along with 323 rolling cargoes (171 trucks, 143 light cars, and nine buses). Ten vessels were reported to have taken shelter within the AOR of Northern Samar.
Livestock and snakes
In Ormoc City, snakes were seen near the city plaza after the floodwaters subsided. A report by the Taga Ormoc FB page said the snakes may have been swept to the area by the floodwaters due to heavy rains.
In Dulag, Leyte, the floodwaters that spilled from Daguitan River have submerged lower portions of Barangay Cabarasan, Dulag, Leyte, drowning several carabaos and cattle. A similar incident was also seen in Ormoc City where a dead carabao was found.
Meanwhile, widespread power failures in Leyte and Samar provinces have affected 286,243 power consumers, before NGCP had restored electricity after a day of brownout.
The entire coverage of LEYECO 2 in Tacloban City, Palo, and Babatngon was without power for several hours. Similar power failures lingered for hours in Catbalogan City, Borongan City, and nearby municipalities in Samar and Eastern Samar provinces, respectively.