Robredo shares victims' experience: 'Odette' was worse than a typhoon

Published December 20, 2021, 7:32 PM

by Betheena Unite

“Hindi na yun bagyo, delubyo na (It wasn’t just a typhoon but a total disaster).”

Aftermath of typhoon Odette in Dinagat Islands (Photo courtesy of the OVP)

This was how typhoon victims in almost all the typhoon Odette-hit places visited by Vice President Leni Robredo described the onslaught of the typhoon.

“Ang description nila: sobrang lakas ng tunog tapos parang lumilindol kasabay ng bagyo (Their description was: the sound was deafening, it felt like a combination of an earthquake and a storm),” Robredo shared during a Facebook live Monday night, Dec. 20.

Some typhoon victims had to seek shelter from one evacuation center to another in the middle of the onslaught of “Odette” as some evacuation sites were not spared by the typhoon.

This was not only the description of typhoon victims in Siargao, which the Vice President and her staff visited on Sunday, Dec. 19, but almost all the places they visited, including Bohol, Dinagat Islands, and Southern Leyte.

These provinces were left with a trail of destruction starting from the toppled down electric posts, lamp posts, and trees; to the roofless homes, private, and public establishments.

Robredo shared that arriving in the provinces, they are always welcomed with long queues on available water refilling stations and food establishments.

Since the typhoon made landfall in these areas, Robredo said, there is still no electricity, no access to water, dwindling food supply, and no means of communication, which has isolated the heavily-affected areas from the rest of the country.

“Ang general feeling ng mga kababayan natin na mula doon sa pinangyarihan ng bagyo na hindi natin masyadong alam dito kung ano yung tunay na nangyari sa kanila dahil unang una down nga yung communication lines, napakahirap magpadala ng mga pictures (The general feeling of our fellowmen in the places hit by the typhoon was we are clueless about what was really happening to them because communication lines are down, it was hard to send pictures),” Robredo said.

The impassable roads due to landslides and toppled electric posts worsen the situation as relief operations could not reach the massively-affected areas, Robredo further shared.

Small houses were among the most affected, Robredo said, as all their belongings were drifted away by the typhoon.

“Kaya heartbreaking makipag-usap sa kanila kasi kinukwento nila na walang wala talaga sa kanila ang natira. Ang itatanong nila sa’yo, papaano na kami. Ano nang gagawin namin? Paano namin itatayo ulit yung aming mga bahay? Ito po yung paulit ulit na kwento (This is why it was so heartbreaking to talk to them because they were narrating how they lost everything. They ask you ‘what will happen to us now. What can we do now? How will we rebuild our houses?’ These are their stories),” the Vice President said.