MANILA — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is anticipating "big damage" in regions hit by Typhoon Odette.
The DPWH has instructed its offices in the regions affected by Odette to assess the damage in their areas, acting DPWH Sec. Roger Mercado said in a public briefing led by President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday.
Downed power and communication lines, however, are hampering their efforts to evaluate, he said.
The official noted that at least 16 national roads and bridges in the areas where Odette made landfalls were closed. Half of the 16 are from Caraga Region, and the rest are in Northern Mindanao, Central Visayas, and Eastern Visayas.
Mercado said they have over 1,000 equipment units and more than 7,500 workers to help in already ongoing clearing operations.
Around P100 million of funds have been released for the DPWH’s operations in Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and Caraga. Of the P100 million, P30 million were allocated for Caraga, he said.
At least 12 people died due to Odette, the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, officials said earlier Friday.
More than 300,000 people fled their homes and beachfront resorts as it pummeled the southern and central regions of the country, knocking out communications in some areas and tearing roofs off buildings.