Typhoon Odette damage in Negros Oriental at P2 billion, 73 dead

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 23 2021 07:23 PM

 Handout photo from the Office of Vice President Leni Robredo
Handout photo from the Office of Vice President Leni Robredo

MANILA - Typhoon Odette has killed 73 people in Negros Oriental and left around P2 billion worth of damage in the province, a local official said Thursday. 

In an interview on Teleradyo, Bimbo Miraflor, the province's information officer, said 21 people remain missing while 99 others were injured in the storm's onslaught. These figures are still being validated, he said.

Miraflor said the casualties are mostly in Manjuyod and Bais City. Around 12,000 residents are still in evacuation centers, he added.

"Yung LGU po yung nag-assist po sa kanila ngayon, may ibang tulong na nagdaratingan coming from non-government organizations, mga civil societies, at saka individual persons na nagbibigay," he said. 

(The LGU is helping them now. Help has already arrived from NGOs, civil societies and individual people who sent it.)

"In general, yung area ng evacuation centers ay puno na po talaga. Napakarami pong displaced individuals, puno na po at nahihirapan na po ang iba makatulog, especially sa paggamit ng mga lavatories," he explained.

(The area of evacuation centers are really full. There are so many displaced individuals and a lot of people are already having difficulties sleeping, most especially when using lavatories.)

While highways are already passable in their province and their ports are also operational and some help already reached their area, Miraflor said they are still in need of food, water and hygiene kits.

The official noted their difficulty in implementing health protocols due to the circumstance. 

The province is also asking for medicine and additional face masks for the affected areas. 

"Parang nalimutan na nila na may pandemic tayo, if you can see the images, yung mga tao nasa daanan, nasa mga highways they are waiting for assistance. Wala na pong mga mask, at nagkumpol-kumpulan na," he said. 

(It seemed that they have forgotten there is a pandemic. If you can see the images, the people on the road are waiting for assistance without masks and no physical distancing.)

The state of calamity in the province of Negros Oriental helped in accessing the P19 million quick response funds that they could use until the end of the year. 

"We had a meeting with the governor... he already budgeted the same to food and non-food items, especially medicine and water para sa mga kababayan namin (for our residents)" he said. 

Odette was at one point a super typhoon under US classification when it slammed into the central and southern Philippines late last week, bringing heavy rains and swamping villages. 

The death toll from Odette is at 258, the country's disaster response agency said in a report on Thursday, making it one of the deadliest typhoons to have hit the Philippines. 

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council placed the number of affected people in Negros Oriental at nearly 10,000 from 82 Barangays, with 2,654 persons currently staying in designated evacuation centers in the province.

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