Guney, known locally as Rowley, evaded the Manila area late Sunday but left 125 cities and towns without power. About 2 million people were on the way to the storm, which followed two more hurricanes, as the country grappled with one of the worst regions in the region. Corona Virus Disease outbreak.
As residents began cleaning up, the death toll rose to 20 on Monday. Most of them were in the province of Alpay, where mud and boulders flow from Mayon volcano Buried village in San Francisco within the town of Jinopatan.
“My family left before the storm,” said Hazel Urppiada Banisa, a 19-year-old student from the area who has since been sheltering nearby. “Other people did not leave our neighborhood, so some of them died and their bodies are still missing.”
Another student from the city, Herbert Oko, 18, said that when he left his home after the storm, he found a local railroad deadlocked and a train buried under the mud.
“I saw with my own eyes the buried dead and their arms coming out,” he said, adding that he started a donation campaign on Facebook for his colleague who lost his home and all his belongings.
As of Monday, many of the estimated 389,000 evacuees were confined to evacuation centers in churches, courts and schools – a regular protocol that now comes with another layer of fear due to the coronavirus pandemic. Health officials remind the public to follow social distancing and sanitation guidelines, which can be difficult in these normally overcrowded arrangements.
President Rodrigo Duterte arrived in Albay on Monday, having faced criticism for being out of sight when the storm struck at the weekend. Local reports quoted Bong Jo, a former presidential aide who became a senator, as saying that Duterte would order an investigation into what appeared to be a quarry around the volcano, which some locals feared had exacerbated the floods.
Duterte also criticized critics who questioned his whereabouts. He said he returned home in Davao City to pay respect to the dead on All Souls Day. “I was waiting for the hurricane to pass, then I left [of Davao]He said, “To those who say I’m not here, what’s the problem?”
Officials also expressed concern about the hard-hit province of Catanduanes Island, which has become inaccessible with phone lines disrupted and the airport tower unresponsive. Pictures that appeared of the damage Collapsed poles, felled trees and Destroyed homes. A team from the national government was sent to the region.
Nearly 700 vehicles and heavy equipment and 4,000 personnel have been deployed to clear roads. Several bridges were destroyed, including one Split in half After the river swelled, according to local reports. Other roads were impassable due to debris, floods, and landslides.
Initial agricultural damage was estimated at $ 22 million, but the Ministry of Agriculture said about 600,000 acres of rice were saved.
Since many of the affected communities are still out of reach, assessing the damage may take days. But the relatively low initial death toll from some previous storms could indicate an improvement in the Philippines’ response to disasters.
John Liu Allgo, Secretary of Action Climate Philippines, Climate Change Pressure Network, has pointed to a growing sense of awareness among Filipinos after it struck Haiyan seven years ago.
He noted that the weather and climate monitoring systems have improved, as has the transmission of warnings. In 2013, many locals did not understand the warnings of a “storm surge” – and later likened the effects of Haiyan to a tsunami.
“There are improvements when it comes to translating these terms,” Algo said.
Disasters are not alien to the Philippines, including tropical cyclones, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, and they are They are considered very weak Climate change impacts.
However, there were blind spots in disseminating emergency information to people on the Goni Trail – particularly the absence of ABS-CBN, which the government has made. It ordered its closure earlier this year In what critics saw as a politically motivated attack on press freedom. The media giant, broadcast on TV and radio for free, has reached millions and published reports in regional languages, making it an essential resource for remote rural communities.
Danilo Arau, assistant professor of journalism at Diliman University in the Philippines, said the broadcaster was severely absent. He said, “ABS-CBN was the only TV station that reached certain areas of the country.” On Twitter.
Oco, the student raising money at Albay, said his family previously relied on ABS-CBN for tornado updates. Now, he and others in his hometown must turn to social media – which can be unreliable when lines of communication are down.
“Now, you’ll only find people who need help on Facebook,” he said.