Eastern Samar accessible via bus

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

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A trip by land and sea takes more than 24 hours

DESTROYED HOMES. Resources are needed to initiate and sustain relief, recovery and rehabilitation. Photo by Franz Lopez/Rappler

EASTERN SAMAR, Philippines – Super Typhoon Yolanda paralyzed the quickest way to reach devastated Eastern Samar from outside the Visayas: the airport in Tacloban City.

Relatives of typhoon survivors as well as aid workers, however, can still reach Eastern Samar via land and sea.

Buses travel to and from Borongan, Eastern Samar to cater to travelers who want to visit – or leave – areas stricken by Yolanda.

In Borongan, airconditioned Eagle Star buses leave for Manila at 5 am daily. Non-airconditioned ones leave at 9 am.

The fare for the airconditioned buses is P1,500 per person. The non-airconditioned buses come cheaper, at around P1,000.

These buses cross the sea from the Visayas to Luzon through the Matnog port in Sorsogon.

The whole land-sea trip takes more than 24 hours.

In Manila, Eagle Star buses leave at different hours in the morning, and follow the same route.

The problem, however, is oil shortage in big parts of the Visayas.

This is because bad roads have hampered the delivery of oil.

We rode a bus from Borongan, Eastern Samar, to Manila on Tuesday, November 12. We were stranded in Calbayog, Samar (formerly Western Samar), from 3 pm to 6 pm because gasoline stations quickly ran out of oil.

Bad roads – as well as the lack of cellphone signals – have prevented aid workers from reaching typhoon-stricken parts of Eastern Samar.

In Hernani, Eastern Samar, typhoon survivors appeal for help after days in isolation. (Watch this video below)

Five days after Yolanda struck the Philippines, details on its effects remain sketchy.

Local governments, such as the Eastern Samar provincial capitol based in Borongan, find it difficult to reach affected communities because of damaged roads and telecommunications.

Hardly, too, can local governments relay information and appeals for help to the national government.

Provincial data as of Monday, November 11, show at least 160 died in Eastern Samar. The province said 44 remained missing while 2,476 got injured. – Rappler.com


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Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email pat.esmaquel@rappler.com