'Pablo' wipes out 3 Davao Oriental towns

By Jon Carlos Rodriguez, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Dec 06 2012 03:25 PM | Updated as of Dec 07 2012 03:48 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Three towns in the province of Davao Oriental—Baganga, Boston and Cateel—were completely wiped out by strong winds brought by typhoon “Pablo”, Governor Cora Malanyaon said on Thursday.

Malanyaon said all structures in the 3 towns collapsed due to the typhoon.

“I would have to say na 100% talaga na walang natira. Talagang nag-collapse ang lahat ng structure sa 3 towns,” she told ANC’s “News Now”.

She said not only houses and trees were blown down, but also hospitals and churches.

“Lahat talaga…houses, public buildings, hospitals, churches, nothing was spared. Talagang nag-collapse. If there are structures that are left, walang bubong,” she said.

The typhoon slammed into Davao Oriental Tuesday morning, carrying gust winds of 210 kilometers per hour.

Malanyaon said at least 177 people, mostly those already in evacuation centers, were killed.

“Kung makita niyo ang situation, it’s unbelievable that one could survive. Parang lindol na hindi mo maintindihan kung gaano ka-strong talaga ‘yung typhoon na ‘yan,” she said.

Collapsed bridges

Malanyaon also said the typhoon caused a bridge-- connecting the coastal towns of Baganga, Cateel and Boston to Mati--to collapse.

She noted that the bridges connecting Baganga to Cateel and Boston also collapsed, making it difficult for authorities to distribute relief goods.

“Wala pang problema sa supply sa food, accessibility ‘yung problem sa 3 isolated towns,” she said.

The governor said she tapped the help of the Philippine Navy to deliver the goods via sea.

About 8,000 packs of food were delivered to Baganga while 6,000 packs were sent to Cateel and Boston via Surigao del Sur on Thursday.

The governor added that there has been “a continuous flow of supply from the DSWD.”

She said the affected residents had to wait for 2 days before they were reached by authorities.

Davao Oriental has been placed under a state of calamity.

The typhoon left at least 325 people dead with more than 300 people still missing.