Tens of thousands flee homes ahead of Typhoon Odette's landfall

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 16 2021 09:44 AM | Updated as of Dec 16 2021 04:44 PM

Rescue teams from the Philippine Army 1501st Community Defense Center help evacuate affected residents of Bgy. Libertad in Butuan City on Thursday as Typhoon Odette looms. 1501st CDC/PA Handout
Rescue teams from the Philippine Army 1501st Community Defense Center help evacuate affected residents of Bgy. Libertad in Butuan City on Thursday as Typhoon Odette looms. 1501st CDC/PA Handout

MANILA (3rd UPDATE)—Tens of thousands of people in the central Philippines were evacuated ahead of Typhoon Odette's landfall, officials said Thursday morning.

In PAGASA's latest bulletin, the typhoon made its first landfall over Siargao in Surigao del Norte at 1:30 p.m.

In Eastern Samar, some 29,875 individuals or 8,743 families were evacuated as strong winds and heavy rains lashed the province, said Governor Ben Evardone.

The province was under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal Number 2, which might experience damaging gale- to storm-force winds within 24 hours, according to PAGASA.

"Malakas na ho ang hangin at ulan dito, binabayo na ho kami dito, lalong lalo na sa south ng province, lalo na sa Guiuan, Homnhon. Kahit nga po dito sa center ng aming lalawigan," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(We're experiencing strong winds and rains here, especially in the southern part of the province in Guiuan, Homonhon. Even here at the center of the province.)

"Wala nang pumalaot (No one has sailed) since yesterday and the other day po."

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Some 1,997 families also fled their homes in Dinagat Islands, according to Gov. Arlene Bag-ao. Signal no. 3 was hoisted over the province, which might experience destructive typhoon-force winds within 18 hours.

"Medyo malambot na agad ang lupa namin. Sa ngayon sa perspective ko, malakas na ang hangin at mataas na rin ang tubig, malalaki na ang alon," she said.

(The soil here is already soft. In my perspective right now, the winds are already strong and the water is rising, the waves are big.)

"Medyo 2 araw na pong nakashelter ang mga bangka namin kaya wala na pong biyahe. Wala na rin laman yung palengke namin."

(We have set aside our boats for two days. Our markets also have no supply of fish.)

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SAFER GROUNDS

In Caraga region, some 700 families also fled to evacuation centers, according to the Office of Civil Defense.

“So, we’re expecting mas marami (more) this morning and we are consolidating the data. So 2,600 individuals yan na pre-emptive evacuated yesterday," said Liza Mazo, director of OCD-Caraga.

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In Surigao City, more than 11,000 families were evacuated from their homes in preparation for typhoon Odette.

The weather bureau raised the red rainfall warning in Surigao City as the area continued to experience heavy rains and strong winds.

The City Disaster Office said 3,280 families or 11,268 residents have been evacuated.

In the entire province of Surigao del Norte, more than 51,000 residents or 17,034 families were moved to safer grounds.

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The provincial government of Bohol also moved people away from their homes due to threats of flooding and landslides, Gov. Arthur Yap told TeleRadyo.

Among towns being monitored by local officials are Loboc, Maribojoc and Calape, he added.

Yap said schools had also been converted as temporary evacuation sites.

Airlines cancelled dozens of flights, while transport authorities banned sea and land travel in the central and southern Philippines, leaving thousands stranded at ports.

The Southeast Asian nation postponed the start of a mass vaccination drive in most parts of the country because of the storm.

The Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,600 islands, sees around 20 tropical storms annually, causing floods and landslides.

TRANSMISSION LINES

As of 1 p.m., Dec. 16, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines said the following transmission lines are unavailable:

  • Ormoc-San Isidro 69kV Line
    Date/Time Out: Dec. 16, 2021 / 7:35 a.m.
    Affected Customer: BILECO, LEYECO III, DORELCO, LEYECO V
     
  • Nasaug-San Isidro 69kV Line
    Date/Time Out: Dec. 16, 2021 / 10:14 a.m.
    Affected Customer: SOLECO
     
  • Bislig-Barobo and Bislig-Trento 69kV Line
    Date/Time Out: Dec. 16, 2021 / 11:36 a.m.
    Affected Customer: SURSECO I, ASELCO
     
  • Placer-Madrid 69kV Line
    Date/Time Out: Dec. 16, 2021 / 9:26 a.m.
    Affected Customer: SURNECO, SIARELCO, SURSECO II
     
  • San Francisco-Tandag 69kV Line
    Date/Time Out: Dec. 16, 2021 / 11:01 a.m.
    Affected Customer: SURSECO II
     
  • San Francisco-Alegria 69kV Line
    Date/Time Out: Dec. 16, 2021 / 10:39 a.m.
    Affected Customer: ASELCO
     
  • Butuan-Bayugan 69kV Line
    Date/Time Out: Dec. 16, 2021 / 10:08 a.m.
    Affected Customer: ANECO, ASELCO

"Inspection and restoration of lines in the affected areas will be in full swing as soon as the weather allows," the NGCP said in a statement.

"Please note that loss of power may be caused by affected transmission facilities of NGCP or distribution facilities of local distribution utilities or electric cooperatives," it added.

The NGCP said specific cities and municipalities affected by the power interruptions were determined by concerned distribution utilities, unless the outage affects the entire franchise area.—With a report from Reuters