Starvation, injuries stalk typhoon victims
MANILA, Philippines - Typhoon Pablo survivors were forced to eat rotten food while others who were seriously injured are still awaiting help at an isolated village in Davao Oriental.
An ABS-CBN News team reached Barangay Abejod in Cateel town on Monday, the first time that aid arrived since the typhoon struck last week in Davao Oriental.
The typhoon has killed at least 148 people in the town and dozens remain missing.
In Abejod village, storm survivor Julieta Edubos broke down in tears as she recalled the rotten food she and her 3 kids had to eat.
"Ang tindi ng naranasan namin. Makakita lang kami ng maliliit na mais na may amoy na, pilit naming nilaga para makain," she said.
Aside from fighting starvation, seriously injured survivors have also been waiting for medical help for days.
On a hill across a stream in the village, the ABS-CBN News team saw a little girl named Ana Rose whose thigh was slashed open by a flying roof.
The wound is now infected and has yet to be treated by a doctor.
A few meters away, another child's cries can be heard.
Two-year-old Jigger Marcel can no longer move his legs after he and his mother fell from a hilltop.
Jigger, who also suffers from a birth defect, can only communicate the pain through his tears.
His mother, Jelyn, said they were carried by the strong wind.
"Nasa taas kami ng bundok. Sumama kami sa hangin kaya na nahulog kaming dalawa," she said.
In New Bataan, Compostela Valley, the typhoon also left another village isolated.
Flashfloods caused by waters rushing down from a mountain destroyed roads in the once bustling barangay of Andap.
To reach the village, an ABS-CBN News team traveled through mud and rocks that stretch for kilometers.
Residents who survived the cyclone have been isolated for nearly a week.
They have nothing to eat but banana and coconut water. But even these have also started to run out.
"May mga sakit pamilya namin. Nahihirapan kami tumawid. Sana Presidente, tulungan kami. Jindi na kami tawid-tawid dito. Wala naman kami nakukuha pagkain, Mr. Presidente nagugutom kami!" said local resident Fel Luto, who was crying.
Nobody knows how many people in the village survived the typhoon. There is also no official count on how many villagers were killed by the typhoon.
Junior Hintapa recalled how the place used to look like before Typhoon Pablo hit the province.
"Dito yung basketbolan, sentro dito, mga opisina. Dito yung health center, maraming bahay dito lahat dun sa likod," he said.
He continues to search for 3 relatives who are still missing.
At the height of the typhoon, many residents of the barangay evacuated to a health center while others sought safety at a school.
Floodwaters destroyed the evacuation centers and swept away the people who stayed inside the emergency shelters.
Access to other communities on the mountain also remains difficult and people are appealing for help. - reports from Chiara Zambrano, Jeff Canoy and Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News; ANC