EXCLUSIVE: Landslides isolate Kalinga town from urgent relief

Edwin Sevidal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 22 2016 07:31 PM | Updated as of Oct 22 2016 09:29 PM

BALBALAN, Kalinga - Boulders, mud and tree trunks thrown by Super Typhoon Lawin (international name: Haima) cover roads leading to this highland town, isolating the area and several others from badly-needed aid.

A steady stream of murky waters continue to flow from the mountain slopes, down to the town proper, where residents shovel mud out of their damaged houses.

The typhoon's powerful winds tore the roofs of many structures, leaving only mud-caked walls and frames three days after it struck.

At least 12 people died after Lawin, one of the strongest typhoons to hit the country, smashed into the northeastern province of Cagayan on Wednesday.

Roads and bridges crumbled under landslides and floods, making the delivery of relief supplies difficult.

Balaban is rugged tableland on the Cordillera Central Range with a population of 12,082, mostly farmers. It has a total land area of 51,900 hectares, 5,432 of which is devoted to agriculture, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

It consists of 14 barangays and is approximately 70 kilometers away from the capital town of Tabuk, said the PSA.