3 Davao Oriental towns wiped out by Pablo

from a report by Atom Araullo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 06 2012 08:40 PM | Updated as of Dec 07 2012 04:53 AM


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DAVAO ORIENTAL, Philippines (UPDATE) - Typhoon Pablo wiped out 3 entire towns in Davao Oriental province, leaving more than 100 people dead and millions of pesos in damage, officials said.

On Thursday, help finally arrived for the towns of Boston, Baganga and Cateel in Davao Oriental.

The 3 towns have been isolated for days after the flashfloods and landslides spawned by the typhoon destroyed bridges.

The typhoon leveled almost all houses and infrastructure in Cateel and Boston.

Survivors don't have either running water or electricity. Commmunication lines have also been cut.

Pablo destroyed schools, churches, and the town hall of Cateel, forcing some residents to stay in their own damaged houses while waiting for help.

One resident, Leonor Clamor, said she had to go from one house to another house to escape the strong winds and heavy rains brought by the typhoon.

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Cateel, a coastal community, felt the brunt of the typhoon.

It left 83 people dead in the town, local officials said.

A neighboring municipality, Boston, was almost erased from the map.

Typhoon Pablo killed 23 people in Boston.

Navy boats have been deployed to ship some 8,000 food packs to Banganga town, which is just south of Cateel, Davao Oriental Governor Cora Malanyaon told ANC Thursday.

Several trucks have brought also 6,000 food packs to Boston and Cateel via Surigao del Sur.

Malanyaon, however, said fallen trees, thick mud and destroyed roads continue to make rescue and relief operations difficult.

"For now, wala po hong problem sa supply sa food stuff. Problem is accesibility to 3 towns that have been isolated because of collapsed bridges," she said.

An estimated 130,000 people live in the 3 isolated towns of Banganga, Boston, and Cateel.

Malanyaon said she was stunned by the devastation caused by Pablo.

"One hundred percent talagang walang natira. Talagang nag-crumble, nagcollapse ang lahat ng structure sa 3 towns," she said. "Lahat talaga. Houses, public buildings, hospitals, churches, nothing was spared. Nag-collapse, if may naiwan, walang bubong."

Disaster management officials said nearly 300,000 people were affected by Typhoon Pablo across 26 provinces.

Many have been brought to evacuation centers, but some of these facilities, like in Cateel, were either destroyed or damaged by the storm.

Government has sent tents to affected families in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley, another devastated area.

Bunkhouses will also be constructed there to serve as temporary shelters for Pablo's victims. - with reports from ANC