Maconacon in Isabela 'destroyed'

by Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 20 2010 03:55 PM | Updated as of Oct 21 2010 09:28 AM

CAUAYAN, Isabela - Members of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) visited Isabela on Wednesday to assess the situation in the province which was placed under a state of calamity in the aftermath of Typhoon Juan (international codename Megi).

Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, Office of Civil Defense Administrator Benito Ramos, and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin were also present in the assessment.

The NDRRMC visited the coastal towns of Isabela and reported to the media that these areas were the hardest hit in the province.

The agency reported that the towns of Maconacon, Palanan, and Divilacan were the hardest hit areas in Isabela.

View Maconacon, Divilacan, and Palanan, Isabela in a larger map

According to Isabela Governor Faustino Dy III, these towns are now isolated after the super typhoon crossed Isabela last Monday.

Dy said the only means of transportation to these coastal towns are though air, via helicopters.

Dy said the food supplies in these coastal areas will only last until Friday, and that residents are in desperate need of medicine and construction materials to use as makeshift tents.

He said the entire town of Maconacon was destroyed to the ground. Schools which would have served as evacuation centers were not spared.

Three deaths were recorded in the area after a tidal wave apparently hit the town of Maconacon.

Dy said that they are looking at the possibility of relocating the entire town of Maconacon for safety purposes.

Gazmin said the the military is ready to lend three Huey helicopters to transport relief goods and medicines.

He said that the US military has also expressed their intention to provide aide, but Gazmin clarified that they will only seek the help of the US once they have exhausted all their resources.