What Odette survivors need, according to a survival expert

Benise Balaloing, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 20 2021 09:59 AM | Updated as of Dec 20 2021 11:13 AM

Watch more News on iWantTFC

MANILA – Survivors of typhoon Odette need communications equipment and tents as they try to rebuild their lives, a rescue and survival expert said Monday.

“Ang unang kailangan natin talaga is communication. Kung meron tulong tayong maibigay, kung merong private entity…or anyone tulungan natin yung reps ng gobyerno maitayo ang communication,” Dr. Ted Esguerra said in a TeleRadyo interview. 

“Number two, magkaroon tayo ng mga medical stations. Kasi yung ating ospital nakita ko doon, merong dalawang doktor, yung iba napunta sa barangay, walang lugar ang mga pasyente. May maliit lang na may shade. Pag ulanin, wala na rin. Nakakaawa.”

“So, kung puwede sa kung sino man may mga, lalo na pribado na may mga tents, paki-stage lang po, kasi kailangang kailangan talaga sa Siargao, not only sa medical pero sa station kung saan i-house ang mga tourist. Nakakaawa din yung local tsaka international tourist,” he added.

He also said that the typhoon survivors need to have their hygiene and sanitation needs met.

“Thirdly, mag-create tayo ng series of water and hygiene and sanitation run papunta doon. Kasi, ang mga tao, basa na yung mga mask or what. Ang kailangan lang ay maano natin, baka hindi natin matugunan yung isyu ng COVID, lalo na ngayon.”

He also said it would help if the typhoon victims have tarpaulins or blankets to keep themselves warm.

“Another thing is yung mga tao na nakita ko andoon po, lalo na mga locals ng Siargao, bilad sila sa araw saka kung ulanin sila wala silang kalaban-laban.”

“So kung meron sana tayo mga tarp ‘no, kasi hinay-hinay sila magre-rebuild, tarp muna, tarp atsaka kumot upang sa gayon ay meron sila, sabihin natin comfort man lang. Papasok na rin ang Pasko.”

Esguerra also noted that cooking utensils would help the typhoon survivors.

“Another thing na kailangan nila is yung hinay-hinay na meron silang parang cooking utensils or what ‘no habang magbigay ka ng bigas. Kasi meron kaming loads of bigas, I was looking at it, yung mga sira nilang ano, doon sila gumagamit--yung mga sira na kahoy, doon sila nagluluto. 

He added, “So kung sana kahit man lang mga maliit na ginagamit namin sa mountaineering, yung makikita natin or…yung mga maliliit, mga lutuan na parang uling or what, parang like we call it a Swedish stove.”

Esguerra over the weekend visited the Odette-hit areas as part of private sector efforts to help victims of the deadly typhoon.

He described the devastation he saw in an interview on TeleRadyo Monday.

“Ang ginawa namin, kasi yung mga hospitals doon as in Jeff grabe. Wala yung bubong, ubos lahat, yung Del Carmen na munisipyo ubos lahat. Hindi, hindi talagang pwedeng gamitin. As in it’s like, ravaged talaga sila.” 

He added, “Kulang sa tubig, tapos iyong ano namin na, yung nakita kong needs doon, malagyan ng tent para temporarily doon muna yung mga doctors ‘no, para makapag-render ng tulong, gamot kasi andaming may sugat.”

He also said that typhoon Odette affected people from all walks of life in Siargao.

“Yung mga areas na padugtong papunta sa yung sikat na lugar yung General Luna, kung saan maraming stranded, even mga tao na masabi nating mga miyembro ng diplomatic corps, matataas na opisyales ng (Department of Tourism) natin ‘no, nandoon pa.”

Esguerra noted that sending in-kind donations via motorcycle is a good way to reach victims of the typhoon, especially in areas where roads have not yet been completely cleared.

“I-utilize natin yung mga locals doon na may motor. Bayaran na lang natin para makatulong na rin tayo sa kanila in form of fuel..ang motor, makakatagos,” he explained.

The doctor also appealed to the public to keep their typhoon-hit countrymen in mind this yuletide season.

“Sana bilisan natin yung tulong. Kung mag-party man lang tayo siguro huwag na lang muna siguro ‘no, ibigay na lang natin po sa mga kababayan natin na naapektuhan.”

--TeleRadyo, 20 December 2021