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Over 600 tourists repatriated from Odette-battered Siargao

/ 08:25 AM December 22, 2021
‘SURFING CAPITAL’ RUINS The Coast Guard reached the isolated Siargao Island in Siargao del Norte to find the airport in this condition. —PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD PHOTO

‘SURFING CAPITAL’ RUINS The Coast Guard reached the isolated Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte to find the airport in this condition. —PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — More than 600 tourists stranded in Typhoon Odette-hit Siargao Island have been repatriated, Surigao del Norte 1st District Rep. Francisco “Bingo” Matugas II said Wednesday.

Matugas said that based on their estimates, over 1,000 tourists were stranded in Siargao after Typhoon Odette — arguably the strongest storm to hit the country this year — ravaged the island.

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“Nakapag-repatriate na tayo ng more than 600 as of yesterday. Siguro nasa more than 1,000 ‘yung domestic tourists na na-trap sa Siargao kasi maraming gustong mag-Pasko dito sana,” Matugas said in an interview with Teleradyo.

(We have repatriated more than 600 tourists as of yesterday. We estimated stranded tourists in Siargao to be more than 1,000 since many supposedly wanted to spend their Christmas here.)

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Matugas said that tourists who wished to be repatriated were asked to go to the airport to have themselves enlisted as there were no scheduled flights yet in the island.

The local government, however, is coordinating with airline companies for repatriation flights.

“We will prioritize first ‘yung PWD (persons with disabilities), seniors, at mothers with children kasi limitado ‘yung seats (because the seats are limited),” Matugas said.

Typhoon Odette made its first landfall in Siargao Island on Thursday, December 16, leaving billions-worth of damages.

EDV

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TAGS: #OdettePH, Siargao, stranded tourist, Typhoon Odette
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