Odette most destructive storm in PH since Yolanda: disaster council

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 05 2022 03:46 PM | Updated as of Jan 05 2022 04:00 PM

Duterte says to revisit Odette-battered areas, wants presidential yacht used as hospital 

Typhoon Odette aftermath OVP handout
Typhoon Odette's strong winds and heavy rains left communities unrecognizable. Homes were flattened and debris were all over. Boats were also washed ashore. OVP handout

MANILA — Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) was the most destructive storm to hit the Philippines since super typhoon Yolanda's (Haiyan) onslaught over 8 years ago, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said.

Odette, which barreled across the southern and central Philippines in mid-December, left at least 407 dead and 78 missing, NDRRMC Executive Director Ricardo Jalad told President Rodrigo Duterte in a taped meeting Tuesday that aired on Wednesday.

Jalad said the storm damaged around 597,000 houses. The estimated cost of damage was at P16.9 billion for infrastructure and P7.6 billion for agriculture.

Odette affected some 4.8 million people, with around 475,000 staying at evacuation centers or with relatives and friends, he said.

The typhoon knocked out power in 284 cities and towns. Electricity has been restored in 206 of them, said the official.

"Si Typhoon Odette ay nag-iwan nang pinakamatinding epekto at saka damages during this post-Yolanda period," Jalad said.

(Odette left the most intense effect and damage during this post-Yolanda period.)

Yolanda, the strongest storm to ever hit land, left more than 7,360 people dead or missing across central Philippines in November 2013 with its tsunami-like storm surges wiping out communities and triggering a global humanitarian response.

Video courtesy of PTV

Duterte has promised P10 billion in recovery efforts after Odette.

Local governments are expected to start distributing on Wednesday P4.8 billion in cash aid for low-income typhoon survivors.

Duterte during Tuesday's meeting said he wanted a presidential yacht that he "never used" to be used "as a hospital" in Siargao island, one of the worst hit areas by Odette.

"It is in Siargao, Mr. President," Jalad said of the yacht. "And baka malaking bagay ‘yon na dahil doon sa pag—nagkaroon ng spike ng ano doon ng diarrhea, ‘yung presence ng mga medical personnel ng presidential yacht ay malaking bagay para pagsilbihan iyong mga kababayan natin."

(And it might be a big help because there was spike in diarrhea cases there. The presence of medical personnel in the presidential yacht is a big deal to serve our compatriots there.)

Duterte said, “They should stay there for as long as it is needed by the populace. They should be there tutal wala naman trabaho ‘yan. Naka-parking lang all the 6 years of my presidency. Hindi naman nagamit ‘yan ni minsan.”

(Anyway, it has no other use. It was just parked for all 6 years of my presidency. It was not used even once.)

Duterte said he would visit typhoon-battered areas again.

“Gusto ko lang tignan 'yong (I just want to see) what was the progress of our government intervention there,” he said.