The coastal town of Dinapigue, Isabela was left isolated Tuesday hours after Typhoon Rosita made landfall in the area, the town's mayor said.
Dinapigue Mayor Reynaldo Derije said strong winds caused devastation in the municipality, cutting off communication lines and flooding several barangays. Rosita, packing maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers per hour and 210 kph gusts, made landfall in the coastal town at 4 a.m.
"Isolated po kami dito...Hindi na po makatawid ang mga sasakyan papunta sa Dinapigue," the mayor said in a DZMM interview.
As of 10 a.m., there were no casualties reported but some 1,140 families have been evacuated, Derije said.
Teodoro Sabiano, an official of Dinapigue's disaster and response office, also noted Rosita seemed to be stronger than Typhoon Ompong in terms of destruction caused in the town.
"Putol-putol na 'yung sanga ng mga puno, 'yung kabundukan halos nalagas na yung mga kahoy," he said.
(Branches fell from trees. The mountain is almost stripped of vegetation.)
Local officials urged the national government to send in food and aid as 6 barangays remain isolated after a bridge collapsed due to Rosita's strong winds.
"Dahil nakakulong kami sa tubig, nahihirapan kami sa paglabas ng aming bayan. Nangangailangan kami ng supply ng pagkain, bigas," Sabiano said.
(Because we are surrounded by floods, we are having a hard time going out of town. We need food, rice.)
The typhoon also destroyed most of the townsfolk's sources of income, Sabiano said.
"Ayon sa mga mangingisda, nasira yung kanilang mga bangka. Ganun din po sa mga taniman ng mais, yung mga huling nagtanim po is totally wala na silang maani," he said.
(According to some fishermen, their boats were destroyed. Corn fields were totally damaged, farmers cannot harvest any crops.)
Storm signal 3 remains hoisted over Isabela and neighboring provinces Quirino, Northern Aurora, Nueva Vizcaya, Ifugao, Benguet, La Union, Ilocos Sur, Mountain Province and Pangasinan, PAGASA said in its latest advisory.
Rosita's moderate to heavy rains may result into floods and landslides in northern and central Luzon, state weather forecasters said.
Rosita, the 18th typhoon to hit the country this year, entered the Philippine area of responsibility a month after Typhoon Ompong wreaked havoc in Northern Luzon.
It is expected to exit the country on All Souls' Day Friday.
- with a report from Dennis Datu, ABS-CBN News