Lucsoon Landslide. Photo by Jalmz
Lucsoon Landslide. Photo by Jalmz

By Raquel Atok
First Posted 11:30 AM January 05, 2018

NAVAL, Biliran – Tropical Storm Urduja, with international name Kai-Tak, inundated about two months’ worth of rain, triggering floods and landslides in Biliran, killing 42 people and counting.

Four days of torrential rain prior to the day of Urduja’s landfall last December 16, caused Biliran’s soil to loosen, causing major landslides in the different municipalities of the province: Brgy. Lucso-on, Naval; Sitio. Barubuhan, Brgy. Iyusan, Almeria; and Brgy. Burabod and Sanggalang, Biliran.

Sitio Macalpi, Brgy. Cabibihan, Caibiran, Biliran. Photo by Jalmz
Sitio Canseso, Brgy. Cabibihan, Caibiran, Biliran. Photo by Jalmz

Raging water from the mountains impelled a destructive avalanche of huge rocks, trees and soil soil covering homes and killing people.

Sanggalang, Biliran, Biliran. Photo by Jalmz

The following table shows the number of casualties from the affected areas:


Name Age Status Date Retrieved
Brgy. Lucso-on, Naval
  1. Batister, Edgardo
47 y.o Dead Dec. 17, 2017
2. Batister, Mary Jane 45 y.o Dead Dec. 18, 2017
3. Batister, Kimberly 14 y.o Dead Dec. 18, 2017
4. Batister, Kathleen 11 y.o Dead Dec. 17, 2017
5. Batister, Kevin 9 y.o Dead Dec. 17, 2017
6. Batister, Ralph 11 y.o Dead Dec. 18, 2017
7. Batister, Rhea 14 y.o Dead Dec. 18, 2017
8. Dacup, Renier 10 y.o Dead Dec. 18, 2017
9. Cadion, Napoleon 37 y.o Dead Dec. 17, 2017
10. Caliao, Joey 27 y.o Missing
11. Caliao, Mary Christine 11 y.o Dead Dec. 19, 2017
12. Caliao, Alyna Kristine 2 y.o Dead Dec. 16, 2017
13. Caliao, Chiquito 55 y.o Missing
14. Caliao, Ivy 20 y.o Dead Dec. 18, 2017
15. Novillo, Jannes 37 y.o Dead Dec. 18, 2017
16. Novillo, Jadine 2 y.o Dead Dec. 18, 2017
17. Poyales, Antonio 56 y.o Dead Dec. 18, 2017
18. Poyales, Annie 51 y.o Dead Dec. 18, 2017
19. Poyales, Haide 30 y.o Missing
20. Poyales, Andy 27 y.o Missing
21. Poyales, Annabel 23 y.o Missing
22. Poyales, Anthony 11 y.o Missing
23. Caliao, Jhay R 24 y.o Missing
24. Caliao, Anita 56 y.o Dead Dec. 16, 2017
25. Mabalo, Je-Ann 23 y.o Missing
26. Superio, Jhon Carlo 12 y.o Dead Dec. 16, 2017
27. Superio, Aleesha Mae 2 y.o Dead
Sitio Barubuhan, Brgy. Iyusan, Almeria
28. Garbo, Wilma 12 y.o Dead Dec. 16, 2017
29. Garbo, Maribeth 50 y.o Dead
30. Garbo, Winnie 50 y.o Dead
31. Jorge, Jimmy 2 y.o Dead
32. Rodriguez, Abraham Dead
Brgy. Burabod and Sanggalang, Biliran
33. Gullon, Angelica Dead Dec. 16, 2017
34. Palconit, Dioscorro Dead Dec. 19, 2017
Sitio Macalpe, Brgy. Cabibihan, Caibiran
35. Abrigo, Gerald Missing
36. Abrigo, Nanjian Dead
37. Bendisyon, Mylene 33 y.o Dead
38. Español, Ronald 27 y.o Dead
39. Español, James Ron 4 y.o Dead
40. Español, Judy Ann 2 y.o Dead
41. Estadillo, Letecia 41 y.o Missing
42. Estadillo, Erwin
43. Estadillo, Diday
44. Estadillo, Maria Louisa
45. Lacampara, Annie 50 y.o
46. Lambonao, Manuel III 5 y.o
47. Lambonao, Sherelyn 10 y.o
48. Lambonao, Aldrin 15 y.o
49. Mandaue, Jessebel 25 y.o
50. Sangcap, Merlan 37 y.o Source: BFP


Retrieval operation in Brgy. Lucso-on for the missing victims are still ongoing, as this was mandated by President Duterte during his visit to the province last December 18. So that the bereaved families can give their loved ones proper burial.

But it looks as though that this won’t be easy for the team to recover all the bodies.

“Mahihirapan. Ok lang sana kung hindi malalaking mga bato. Ang epekto sa malalaking bato ‘pag madaanan ang mga bahay o anumang bagay kakayurin talaga. Parang babayuhin. Ma fa-flatten-out. Kaya mahihirapan ang nag-ooperate ng retrieval operation,” expressed by the Acting Provincial Fire Marshal Gil Abella.

Moreover, flashfloods broke out due to overwhelming rain. The rushing water made new paths, destroying rice fields and rupturing the pieces of land connected to bridges. Thus, making the vital bridges of Naval inaccessible to the people: Caray-caray, Catmon, and the two bridges of Larrazabal.

Rehabilitation of the bridges are being carried out immediately. Foot bridges are already installed in Larrazabal and Caray-caray. Meanwhile, Catmon Bridge has been brimmed and is now available to commuters.

Aerial view of Caraycaray Bridge. Photo by Jalmz

Vehicles especially four-wheeled or more are resorted to travel around Biliran due to Caray-caray Bridge’s unavailability, doubling the time for travel. However, motorcycles can cross to the shallow parts of Caray-caray river and Dapdap road is available for commuters going to Larrazabal.

Brgy. Burabod, Biliran, Biliran. Photo by Jalmz
Brgy. Burabod, Biliran, Biliran. Photo by Jalmz

“Be vigilant,” Abella emphasized. “This natural calamity will be our guide, our lesson to be learned. Kaya kung sasabihin na mag-evacuate tayo, mag-evacuate tayo. Hindi lang natin babaliwalain.”

Abella further reminded Biliranons to listen only to the concerned government agencies and not to hearsays in terms of calamities—storms: PAG-ASA; earthquakes: PHIVOLCS; Fire: BFP and so on.

Caraycaray Bridge. Photo by Jalmz.

“Hindi natin ito inaasahan na ganito ang mangyayari. Nandiyan na ‘yan. Sa susunod, mag ingat na tayo palagi,” Abella admonished. He also extended his condolences for the victims of the calamity. –

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