Casualties reported in Tacloban City floods

Posted at 03/17/2011 9:47 AM | Updated as of 03/17/2011 6:59 PM

MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - Seven people were killed after a landslide struck Barangay 97, Cabalawan, Tacloban City, Leyte.

ABS-CBN Tacloban's Sharon Evite and radio reporter Hector Go of Tacloban City reported that a family of 7 died after their house was buried in a landslide.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council identified the fatalities as Marlon and Jenetta Orda and their 5 children. It said the Ordas' home, which is near a hilly portion of Tacloban, was completely buried in mud.

The landslide followed severe rains, which also flooded large parts of Tacloban City. The city has a population of around 200,000.

Many affected residents evacuated their homes.

The city government has sent heavy equipment to the affected areas, but the floods are making rescue operations difficult.

Go said Tacloban City needs rubber boats to reach the affected families. He said even 6x6 trucks can't enter flooded areas.

Go also reported 5 deaths due to flooding in Barangay Nula-Tula in Tacloban City.

ABS-CBN News received reports of severe flooding in Tacloban City due to incessant rains last night.

Classes have been suspended in Tacloban City.

As of posting time, however, floods have reportedly receded in the city.

In Palo, Leyte, only rooftops can be seen in Barangay Victory due to severe floods.

Large parts of Palo are underwater by 5- to 6-feet, but the town lacks rescue teams.

Many residents are using bancas to move around.

Office of Civil Defense chief Benito Ramos said they received a report that 3 people were killed by floods in Leyte, but they have yet to get the names of the victims.

Ramos said large parts of Southern Leyte are also affected by floods from heavy rains.

He said the Armed Forces, the Philippine National Police, and the Department of Public Works and Highways have joined forces with the local government to address the disaster. -- with reports from Sharon Evite, ABS-CBN Tacloban; dzMM