'Madilim na pasko:' Bato, Catanduanes appeals for help


Posted at Nov 06 2020 01:51 PM

'Madilim na pasko:' Bato, Catanduanes appeals for help 1
43-year-old Elsa Gonzales leans by the fence of the Virac Airport to catch a signal, as she made a call to a relative located in Bulacan, November 5, 2020. As of the moment, the vicinity near the airport has the most stable phone signal in the city of Virac after Super Typhoon Rolly devastated the province. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The municipality of Bato in Catanduanes is already expecting a gloomy Christmas as the town grapples with the trail of destruction left by super typhoon Rolly.

Power is still down and may take several months before it is fully restored, said Bato, Catanduanes Mayor Juan Rodulfo.

“Baka matagalan pa po ito, 2 to 3 months baka sumobra pa dyan dahil nagbagsakan lahat ng poste sa aming area. Madilim at malungkot po ang Pasko namin dito,” he said in an interview on TeleRadyo on Friday morning.

Rolly first made landfall as a super typhoon in the town of Bato causing massive destruction.

“Ito na pinakamalakas sa historya ng Catanduanes dahil sinabayan pa ng baha and high tide, halos sabay-sabay,” he said.

At least two barangays—Cagraray and Pananaogan—remain isolated and residents have yet to receive relief goods due to landslides.

“Ngayon schedule ng relief goods po doon,” the mayor said. 

A resident named Lyn said seawater inundated their barangay at the height of the typhoon. 

“Malapit kami sa may dagat pinasok po ng dagat yung barangay namin. Yung sa amin po may natira naman po pero yung mga kasama namin dito halos nasira po mga bahay,” said Lyn in the same interview.

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Their area, she said, is still not passable to vehicles as debris from the landslide have yet to be cleared.

But Rodulfo said a team of 100 personnel from Sorsogon will arrive tomorrow to conduct clearing operations. 

Rodulfo admitted that the local government is having a hard time purchasing relief goods as some stores have no supply.

Residents like Lyn are also asking the local government to help them with construction materials to rebuild what is left of their homes.

“Halos lahat ng pondo dito sa Catanduanes naubos na po ng COVID. Kung may natitira man, konti na lang po. Ito po ang pagkakasyahin namin sa relief goods,” he said.

The mayor said they only have P2.6 million left which they try to budget for their relief operations. He added that help from the national government is on its way.