First to face Rolly's wrath, Catanduanes counts dead, damage

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 02 2020 04:01 PM

MANILA - Catanduanes has tallied 5 dead and millions of pesos in damage following the onslaught of this year's strongest typhoon, Rolly, the leader of the island province said Monday. 

Rolly was a "super typhoon" when it made landfall on Catanduanes Island before dawn Sunday, packing maximum sustained wind speeds of 225 kilometers per hour and dumping heavy rain across Bicol region. Catanduanes and Albay provinces bore the brunt of Goni's ferocious winds, which the state weather forecaster had warned earlier could cause "catastrophic" damage. 

The 5 fatalities from Catanduanes drowned when they tried to cross raging floods, said Governor Joseph Cua. 

The storm damaged 65 percent of houses made of light materials and around a quarter of bigger houses, affecting some 15,000 residents, he added. 

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The super typhoon toppled 80 percent of Catanduanes' electric lines and transformers, leaving the province without electricity, as of this posting. Catanduanes has also yet to restore its telecommunication lines, said Cua. 

"Sa ngayon po walang communication talaga kami," said the governor, who was only able to join a government briefing through VSAT equipment. 

(As of now we really have no communication.)

Water supply in the provinces has also been cut, forcing residents to rely on deep wells, he said. 

Rolly also damaged P400 million worth of abaca, Catanduanes' main agricultural product, and about P200 million worth of other crops, Cua said. 

The disaster council said it would try to source bottled water for the province, where a military chopper would bring food packs on Tuesday.