A silent night? Gov't trying to restore communication in Odette-hit areas before New Year

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 21 2021 01:09 PM | Updated as of Dec 21 2021 03:51 PM

Watch more News on iWantTFC

Authorities are attempting to restore communication lines in areas pummeled by typhoon Odette before the end of December, an official said on Tuesday.

Areas where Odette knocked down communication lines late last week include the holiday island of Siargao in Surigao Del Norte, and Dinagat Islands, said DICT Acting Secretary Manny Caintic.

Asked when communication would be restored there, he said in a public briefing, "Sa ngayon, wala akong maibigay na eksaktong petsa para d’yan." 

(For now, I cannot give an exact date on that.)

"Sinusubukan matapos ngayong buwan ang pinakamabilis," he later added. 

(We are trying this month, at the soonest.)

Photo shows the extent of destruction in Dinagat Islands as Vice President Leni Robredo visits the province to assess the situation. OVP/ Handout
Photo shows the extent of destruction in Dinagat Islands as Vice President Leni Robredo visits the province to assess the situation. OVP/ Handout

Caintic said it was difficult to restore communication while an area is still experiencing power outage. The DICT is helping the energy department transport personnel and equipment, and clear toppled electric posts, he said. 

Authorities earlier said they aim to restore electricity in parts of central and southern Philippines before Christmas this week.

In the meantime, the DICT is providing local officials emergency communication systems in Odette-hit areas, said Caintic. 

He said the agency would also set up sites offering free WiFi and calls.