'Urduja' revives 'Yolanda' fears in Tacloban: official


Posted at Dec 17 2017 11:10 AM | Updated as of Dec 17 2017 03:53 PM

MANILA - Severe flooding in Tacloban from days of rain due to tropical depression "Urduja" brought back the horror of super typhoon "Yolanda," which left the city in ruins 4 years ago, a local official said Sunday.

At least 3 people were killed due to Urduja (international name: Kai-tak), which hovered slowly over the Visayas, as a brewing storm, which will be named "Vinta," looked set to follow its path later this week.

"Akala namin typhoon Yolanda ulit kasi the winds were very, very strong," Tacloban Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin told DZMM.

(We thought it was a repeat of Yolanda because the winds were very, very strong. This is really the second to super typhoon Yolanda. Everything that happened then flashed back to us.)

"This is really the second to super typhoon Yolanda... Parang nag-flash back sa amin lahat iyang super typhoon Yolanda."

The islands of Leyte, where Tacloban is located, and Samar had borne the brunt of Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) in 2013, which left more than 7,350 people dead or missing.

Some 15,000 people were evacuated in Tacloban since Urduja started dumping rains on large swaths of the country on Saturday, Yaokasin said, describing the floods as "massive and severe."

The floods also swamped a relocation site for families that were transferred away from coastal areas that experienced deadly storm surges during Yolanda, he saud

"Sabi nga nila, hindi na raw ito pabahay -- 'pabaha' raw ito," he said.

Yaokasin said a flood control project, which was repaired twice recently, failed to stop rain water from cascading down the mountains and onto Tacloban.

He urged the Department of Public Works and Highways to coordinate with the local government to ensure the efficiency of such projects. He also appealed to the national government to replenish Tacloban's dwindling relief supplies.

The local government earlier declared a state of calamity that would allow them to tap emergency funds for the evacuees and impose a price freeze on basic commodities.

With Agence France-Presse