ABS-CBN journalist Jeff Canoy has been reporting from Catanduanes since Tuesday, following the storm that devastated the island province this last weekend. On Day 1, he was in Virac where the LGU reported three deaths from the flash floods during the height of supertyphoon Rolly. The world's strongest typhoon this year also left terrible damage to 75 percent of the houses in the municipality.
Today, Jeff is back in Catanduanes but this time he is in Bato, where the supertyphoon, also known as Goni, made its first landfall. Looking at his picture and video posts on social media, the destruction in the streets is truly heartbreaking. Thousand of houses were damaged. Even the heritage site St. John the Baptist Church, the province’s oldest church, was not spared.
There is still no cell signal in the municipality, reports Jeff, so some of the people he would meet while going around would ask him to snap their pictures—in the hopes that the pictures will somehow reach their loved ones when he posts them on social media, or perhaps when he includes them in his reports. Their message, says Jeff: “Huwag kayo mag-alala. Ok kami. Buhay kami. Pero kailangan ng tulong.”
In a virtual conference held Monday, Catanduanes Governor Joseph Cua said the estimated damage the supertyphoon brought the province’s abaca industry alone is pegged at P400 million—add to that an additional P200 million damage to other crops. Meanwhile, Infrastructure damage is pegged at P700 million. Cua asked assistance from the government to extend help to the Catandunganons, especially because the province’s disaster funds have already been used for Covid 19 efforts in the past months.