Typhoon Rolly leaves hundreds of schools damaged

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 03 2020 03:15 PM

A view of the damage sustained by the Sabang National High School in Calabanga, Camarines Sur, on Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, following the onslaught of Typhoon Rolly. Photo from the Office of the Vice President

MANILA — At least 226 schools were damaged after the world's strongest typhoon this year ravaged parts of country, the Department of Education said Tuesday.

According to a situation report from the DepEd, 226 schools, majority from the Bicol region, incurred damages amounting to P489.5 million during the onslaught of Typhoon Rolly over the weekend.

Schools in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley and Eastern Visayas with one each, Mimaropa (13 schools), and Calabarzon (27 schools) were also damaged. 

The DepEd, in its report, said it already mobilized engineers and disaster risk reduction management coordinators to assess the infrastructure and non-infrastructure damages for response, rehabilitation, and recovery interventions.

At the Laging Handa briefing, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the department already requested funds from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to repair the school buildings damaged by Typhoon Rolly.

"You have a general fund sa NDRRMC at kami ay pumipila," she said.

According to the situation report, 7,169 learning materials and 194 computer sets in Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa and the Bicol region were damaged by the typhoon.

Evacuation centers

The DepEd also reported that 869 schools are currently used as evacuation centers for families affected by Typhoon Rolly, of which 443 are in the Bicol region.

Some 21,000 families or 82,584 individuals are taking temporary shelter in these schools, according to the DepEd report.

Briones said local governments should learn to avoid using schools as evacuation centers in the future.

"Eventually, hanapan dapat ng solusyon dahil alam naman natin... may bagyo talagang dumadating every year, paghandaan na 'yan na hindi tayo aasa sa mga school [bilang evacuation center]," she said.

(Eventually, we should find a solution because know... we have typhoons every year, we should be ready and not rely so much on schools for evacuation centers.)

Briones urged local governments to use general purpose buildings or gyms as evacuation centers.

Rolly, a super typhoon at its peak, brought strong winds that toppled houses, trees and power and communication lines, and forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes. The storm's rains also triggered landslides and flooding.

The country's disaster agency has recorded at least 20 deaths due to the typhoon.