MANILA - Search and retrieval operations continue in Guinobatan town, Albay as 3 people remain missing while 3 others were killed after Tropical storm Rolly brought lahar from Mt. Mayon, its mayor said Monday.
Rolly, the world's strongest storm so far this year and a super typhoon at its peak, left at least 10 dead in Bicol region, displaced hundreds of thousands of people during the COVID-19 pandemic and knocked out power lines.
Lahar submerged some 147 houses up to its roof in an area where storms usually do not traverse, said Guinobatan Mayor Ann Yap Ongjoco. He likened Rolly's power to Typhoon Reming, one of the strongest storms that hit the province in November 2006.
"'Yung iba lubog ang bahay, yung iba almost half ng bahay ang natabunan," she told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(Some houses were fully submerged. Some were covered partially.)
"Nagpreemptive (evacuation) naman po, di naman po nagkulang ang LGU (local government unit) and barangay officials kaya lang itong area na ito po, di naman po talagang dinadaanan ng lahar. Kumbaga unforeseen po yun."
(We conducted preemptive evacuation, the LGU and barangay officials did not lack in preparation but lahar usually doesn't go to this area. It was unforeseen.)
The town needs help from national government to provide housing to displaced residents, she said
"May lupa naman pong nabili ang LGU. Ang kailangan lang po matulungan magpatayo ng bahay," she said.
Residents in Camalig town, Albay also need housing materials and food as they continue to repair their homes, its mayor Carlos Baldo Jr said.
The town, where electricity has yet to be restored, had one injury and did not report any fatality, he added.
"Kung tumagal pa, parang 'yung bagyong Reming to. Talagang grabe 'yun. 'Yung kuwan ngayon, di masyado marami 'yung Mayon debris na tumama samin," he said.
(if it lasted longer, it would have been like Typhoon Reming. This time, there wasn't much debris that hit us.)