Ports, terminals swamped as crowds try to leave Cebu City

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 24 2021 06:01 PM | Updated as of Dec 24 2021 06:02 PM

CEBU CITY — From Thursday until Christmas Eve, long lines of worried people wanting to leave Cebu City have been waiting in major ports and bus terminals.

Many of them were bringing nearly all their belongings, saying they might not come back to the city for the time being after it was battered by Typhoon Odette last week.

Jill Jumao-as, who is on her way to Talibon, Bohol said she wants to escape the city’s scarce supply of water. 

“In our house, there is a deep well nearby,” she said, not minding the damage in their area. 

Others also are worried about their family members whom they have not heard from in a week since telecommunication signals went down after Odette ravaged Cebu.

“I need to see my wife and kids who are in Carcar City,” said Ronald Bemos, who traveled from Cagayan to Cebu. His hometown was where Odette made its landfall.

The Cebu Port Authority reminded the public that they will only accommodate travelers who have already purchased tickets. 

“We once again appeal to the public not to go to the ports without confirmed schedule,” their statement read. 

They will only allow entry to passengers with boat tickets and valid IDs within three hours prior to the departure schedule.

The death toll from destructive Odette has reached over 300, the national disaster council said on Christmas Eve as some 100 towns and cities, including in Cebu province, continued to experience power outages.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) in its 8 a.m. report pegged the typhoon's death toll at 326. It said the figure included 14 confirmed fatalities and 312 reported deaths that were up for validation. 

It knocked down power in 273 towns and cities. Electricity has been restored in 149 of these areas, the NDRRMC said. It reported 371 areas are still experiencing communication problems, while water supply has yet to be restored in 3 areas. 

— Report from Annie Perez

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