‘Odette’ killed 14 people, destroyed 14,000 houses in Dinagat Islands – official
MANILA, Philippines — Dinagat Islands on Monday reported 14 fatalities and around 14,000 totally destroyed houses after Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) pummeled the province last week.
“I was there during the typhoon, trapped in a building. I saw tables that were heavier than people being blown off from the second floor and then when we got out, I saw the devastation. The houses were all destroyed. At this point, our latest count is we have 14,000 or more totally damaged houses and right now, our casualties have already climbed to 14,” Dinagat Islands provincial information officer Jeff Crisostomo lamented on ANC’s Rundown.
“Even if that would be, in the eyes of some, a small number. For us, one death in any disaster is one death too many,” he also said.
According to Crisostomo, all residents in Dinagat Islands are affected by the severe tropical storm, which also battered Siargao, Cebu, Bohol, and Palawan.
“Whenever people ask me what the affected population is, I would always say all of Dinagatnons, it’s 128,000 or more people in our province,” he pointed out in the same interview.
As Dinagatnons reel from the calamity brought by Odette, Crisostomo called on the public to send them help.
“Many are left homeless. Many don’t have food anymore or drinking water, that’s why we’re asking for help from not just our national government but our citizens all over the Philippines and our partners abroad to send help in the form of potable water, food, temporary shelters, building materials, fuels—so that we can deliver the goods to the different 100 barangays, especially in our island barangays in our seven municipalities,” appealed Crisostomo.
The information officer added that efforts are underway to restore communication lines in the province.
Based on reports received by local government units in affected areas, 147 people have been reported killed in Visayas due to the typhoon as of Sunday, December 19.
However, also on Sunday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said the death toll from Typhoon Odette stood at 31 as three people were injured.
Of the total fatalities, 16 were from Cebu province, five from Negros Oriental, five from Bohol, two from Guimaras, and one each from Bukidnon, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental.