MANILA, Philippines – The onslaught of typhoon “Pablo” is worse compared to the damage caused by last year’s tropical storm “Sendong” in Surigao del Sur, the province's governor Johnny Pimentel said on Tuesday.
Surigao del Sur is one of the provinces badly-hit by the typhoon, which made landfall in Davao Oriental Tuesday morning.
“The typhoon ‘Pablo’ is very much stronger than the typhoon ‘Sendong’ which we experienced last year. I would say that the damage is much, much bigger now compared to typhoon Sendong,” Pimentel told ANC’s “Top Story”.
Sendong also hit Mindanao in December last year, killing at least 1,000 people.
But Pimentel noted that the province is more prepared for Pablo, and some 9,000 residents had been advised to evacuate their homes as early as Monday night.
Pimentel said heavy rains were experienced at around 12 midnight, while strong winds hit the province at around 2 a.m.
The stormy weather lasted for about 6 to 7 hours, the governor said.
He also noted that although there was massive damage to personal property, there were no casualties reported.
However, Pimentel said the farming and fishing industry in the province will be greatly affected by the typhoon.
The entire province of Surigao del Sur is still without electricity, as strong winds damaged transmission lines.
Pimentel said the power outage occurred at around 4 a.m., during the height of the typhoon.
He said the province’s electric company is finding solutions for the power outage, but no timeline has been given as to when power will be resorted.
Pimentel said a large number of evacuees returned to their homes at around 3 p.m. Tuesday, as weather continues to improve in the province.
He said the affected families were given relief packs containing rice packs and noodles.
However, Pimentel said some families are still staying at evacuation centers because they lost their homes.
“May mga naiwan pa sa evacuation centers, sila ‘yung mga rendered homeless,” he said.
Pimentel said homes of some residents in the coastal town of Lianga were washed out.
Some homes in Hinatuan, meawhile, had its roofs torn off.
The governor said the affected residents will remain in evacuation centers until their homes are rebuilt.
A state of calamity has been declared in the province.