Identities of the abductors are still unknown
MANILA, Philippines - A day after Typhoon "Pablo" (Bopha) ravaged Davao Oriental, Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas said in a statement that except for 3 coastal towns, the rest of Davao Oriental is normalizing.
The towns of Baganga, Cateel and Boston, the hardest hit areas, are still struggling to recover. The situation is worsened by the destruction of bridge connections south from Mati and North from Compostela Valley, which has isolated the 3 towns.
Together, the 3 affected towns have a total population of about 150,000.
Deaths in Davao Oriental have risen to 81. In Baganga, 31 are dead, while Cateel has 30 and Boston, 15. Another 4 have died in other areas.
No visible signs of damage have been reported in the rest of the province so far, except for power outages.
"The most difficult challenge we face is the restoration of power to the entire province, due to electric posts that were toppled during the typhoon," Roxas said in the statement.
"The local electric cooperative has assured us that gradual restoration of power begins twenty-four to thirty-six hours from now."
Mati, the capital of Davao Oriental, is currently where relief goods provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, local government units, and civil donations are stored.
Roxas inspected the area from aboard a chopper to assess the extent of the damage and the appropriate response.
He has since ordered the local government of Mati and the provincial governor to hire all local fishing boats available to help transfer the goods - including food, water, generators, tents and medicine - to the affected areas.
Transportation and Communications Secretary Jun Abaya is also sending a Philippine Coast Guard Vessel to help with the efforts, while another vessel is expected from the Philippine Navy.
As of 4 pm Wednesday, December 5, at least 238 are reported dead in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley. - Rappler.com