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Filipinos pick up pieces as Odette exits, leaving 140 people dead

20 December 2021

 By The SUN 

The country's surfing capital, Siargao, bore the full impact of Odette's fury (photo from OVP)

People in parts of the Visayas and Mindanao have begun to salvage whatever was left of their belongings after Super Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) claimed more than 140 lives as it cut a path of death and destruction across the region on Thursday and Friday.

As of the evening of Sunday, Dec 19, reports reaching Manila said at least 72 people died in Bohol alone in the wake of the typhoon.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council reported 31 other casualties after Odette blew its way out into the South China Sea.

But Negros Occidental’s provincial government said the death toll in the province rose to 34 today, with the latest fatalities recorded in Sipalay and Kabankalan, among the hardest-hit cities in the province.


At least 15 other people died in Siargao Island, said Surigao del Norte Governor Francisco Matugas on Sunday, who added that the death toll could climb.

The local government of Dinagat Islands in the province reported 10 more deaths, mostly due to fallen trees and drowning, as the typhoon flattened the province.


Odette, which at one point was a Category 5 storm, made nine destructive landfalls in the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, Leyte and Surigao del Norte, where the popular surfing destination, Siargao, being the first to bear to brunt of its 270km-per-hour wind.

Bohol Governor Arthur Yap appealed for donations of hundreds of generators to help the province deal with a critical shortage in drinking water.

The super typhoon also left a trail of destruction in Bohol province

Yap also asked the Philippine Ports Authority to open its facilities to help local government units get access to power and communications.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development said 74,680 families or 279,623 persons are staying in 2,060 evacuation centers after the onslaught of Odette.


Meanwhile, 7,427 families or 28,982 persons were also displaced, but are staying outside evacuation centers.

The DSWD added that as of 6am on Sunday, Php3.57 million worth of assistance from the agency, local government units, and nongovernmental organizations has been provided to affected residents.

Photos shared on social media showed wrecked homes and toppled power and communication lines. The widespread destruction has made it difficult for authorities to provide a clear picture of the extent of damage.


Relief operations were ramped up on Sunday after Odette, the strongest tropical storm to hit the Philippines this year, pummeled the region as it made nine landfalls and displaced more than 400,000 people in seven provinces.

The national government has committed P2 billion to aid the Visayas and Mindanao residents displaced by Odette, acting presidential spokesman Karlo Nograles said Sunday.

He said the Department of Social Welfare and Development already has Php1 billion worth of pre-positioned goods in affected areas while the Department of Public Works and Highways is clearing roads to speed up relief transportation,.

Pindutin para sa detalye

Vice President Leni Robredo has conducted her own relief effort by visiting Bohol and Siargao and Dinagat islands in Surigao where she distributed food and supply packages mainly sourced from private donations.

She also met with local officials to help with the coordination of relief and rebuilding efforts.

Residents of Dumaguete City line up to get drinking water after their supply lines were cut

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, or PAGASA, said Odette had exited the country’s territory and was already about 430 km northwest of Pag-asa Island, Kalayaan, at 11am.

The typhoon maintained its strength as it plodded towards Hainan. At 2pm Sunday, Severe Typhoon Rai was within 200 kilometres of the coast of southern Vietnam from where it’s expected to turn north and northeast towards Hainan and the coast of Guangdong.

The Hong Kong Observatory has said it may issue a tropical cyclone warning signal on Monday as Rai moves towards the city.

However, based on its current track the typhoon is not expected to come within 800 kilometers of Hong Kong as it turns in a more easterly direction. Forecasters also expect Rai to weaken, though it will still bring rain to Hong Kong in the next couple of days.

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