CEBU CITY - Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas was in Tacloban City with Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin when super typhoon "Yolanda" hit the city on Friday.
Speaking to radio dzMM, Roxas likened the power of the super typhoon's winds to the backwash from a plane.
"Napakalakas ng hangin. Just imagine being blown by a plane engine. Sobrang lakas at walang tigil," he said in an interview.
The DILG chief said he saw a Mitsubishi L300 being lifted and flipped by Yolanda's winds. He said GI sheets, plywood and other debris were being blown by the wind during the height of Yolanda's onslaught.
Roxas said he and Gazmin took refuge for about 3 hours last Friday before the wind finally died down.
When they went out, he said he was not prepared for the devastation brought by the super typhoon.
"This is the first time that I have seen the effect of a storm signal number 4. We were one of the first responders during Pablo (Bopha) but that typhoon only had 175 kph winds while Yolanda had 250 kph winds. Talagang matindi," he said.
He added: "Hindi natin inasahan na ganito kalawak at ganito katindi ang magiging pinsala."
Roxas said there is no food, water and power in Tacloban. Store owners are not selling their goods for fear of running out, he said.
"You cannot call anyone there. There is no communication, no AM radio stations that are operational. Generators of radio stations were flooded and their towers were toppled," he said.
He said this is the reason why it has been difficult to call for help and to check on the safety of some residents.
The DILG chief said there is a need to restore peace and order after some residents started looting a local mall.
The Philippine National Police will be sending police officers from Manila to help restore order in the city.
The Armed Forces will also send troops to clear roads of debris particulary on the Leyte end of San Juanico Bridge.
Roxas urged the public to coordinate with the Department of Social Welfare and Development to bring relief goods to Tacloban.
He said the goods will be brought to typhoon-hit areas by the Coast Guard and the Philippine Navy. A C-130 plane also brought goods to Tacloban City.
He said relief goods can also be brought via land route, from Manila all the way to San Juanico. He said he expects roads leading to Tacloban City to be cleared of debris by Sunday.
RADIO DZMM, November 9, 2013