Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba appealed for help from the national government Saturday, hours after Typhoon Ompong made landfall in the municipality of Baggao.
Winds brought by the strongest storm to hit the country this year peeled off the Provincial Capitol's roof and flattened the province's rice and corn fields, said Labor Sec. Silvestre Bello III.
No casualties have been reported as of 10 a.m., but power was cut off in the entire province while communication signals have been intermittent as Ompong barrels away from Cagayan towards Ilocos.
"We need a lot of help and we want to get assistance from national government," Mamba said in a phone interview on ANC.
The governor likened Ompong's onslaught to the damage brought by Typhoon Lawin in 2016 when at least "14,000 houses were completely destroyed."
The provincial government has set aside a standby fund but it may not be enough to cover all damage, Mamba said.
Ompong is expected to move away from Luzon between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Saturday, and is expected to exit the Philippine area of responsibility Saturday night, state weather bureau PAGASA said in its 8 a.m. bulletin.