Argao Mayor: ‘Odette’ is strongest in 30 years

Published December 19, 2021, 11:29 AM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY – Ground zero.

This was how Argao town in southern Cebu was described as it was one of the areas in the province that was severely hit by typhoon Odette.

Argao Mayor Allan Sesaldo said “Odette” was the strongest typhoon to hit the town in the past 30 years.

“I think Argao is ground zero. 60 to 70 percent of the houses were really damaged,” Sesaldo said.

Sesaldo said the typhoon also destroyed 90 percent of the electric posts in the town.

Sesaldo said the town remained inaccessible because of the toppled electric posts blocking the roads.

On Saturday morning, the mayor said they received reports that two residents died at the height of the typhoon.

One of the fatalities was a farmer who got hit by a fallen tree while trying to transfer his carabao to safer grounds at the height of Odette on Thursday night.

The other fatality was a girl who got pinned by a tree that fell on their house, Sesaldo said.

Sesaldo said the destruction could have been worse if not for the pre-disaster measures that the town took.

The town has at least 20,000 residents and 12,000 to 15,000 were evacuated before the typhoon came.

“We implemented forced evacuation for those who were living in the shorlines,” said Sesaldo.

Sesaldo went to the Cebu Capitol on Saturday to seek assistance from Governor Gwendolyn Garcia.

The governor has since sent food packs to Argao.