Surigao Del Sur mulls state of calamity after Odette onslaught
Authorities in Surigao Del Sur will discuss on Tuesday whether or not to place the southern Philippine province under a state of calamity due to the onslaught of typhoon Odette.
Relief aid is somewhat a "problem" in Surigao Del Sur, said Governor Alexander Pimentel.
"Kaya nga nagpatawag ako ng special session ngayon para mag-declare ng state of calamity. Ang problema, lahat ng LGUs kaunti na lang ang calamity fund dahil sa pandemic," he said in a televised public briefing.
(This is why I called for a special session to declare a state of calamity. The problem is all LGUs have little calamity fund left because of the pandemic.)
A state of calamity declaration will allow the local government to tap emergency funds and freeze prices of basic goods.
Odette affected some 45,000 families or 140,000 individuals in Surigao Del Sur, destroyed 12 houses, and partially damaged 235 other homes, Pimentel said.
Some northern parts of the province remain without electricity, he said.
The governor added only one resident was injured by the storm, while no fatalities were reported so far.
"Sa awa po ng Diyos, hindi naman masyadong malaki ‘yong sa amin. Iyong northern part lang ang medyo tinamaan, pero ang grabe talaga, ang Surigao Norte," he said.
(With God's mercy, the damage here was not that big. Only our northern part was slightly hit. The damage is great in Surigao Del Norte.)
Odette was a super typhoon under US classification when it smashed into Surigao del Norte, including Siargao, which is popular with surfers. The country's 15th storm this year flooded agricultural fields, tore roofs off buildings, and toppled concrete posts in the province.