ALBAY, Philippines – Typhooon Tisoy (Kammuri) left more than 600 families from coastal villages in Albay homeless after it pummeled the province for more than 8 hours, from Monday evening, December 2, until Tuesday morning, December 3.
Tisoy made landfall in neighboring Sorsogon province at around 11 pm Monday, but destroyed government and private infrastructure as well as agricultural crops in Albay and surrounding provinces. It also hit land in Oriental Mindoro Tuesday afternoon.
In an initial report, the Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office (Apsemo) said 93 houses were totally damaged while 515 were critically damaged, amounting to P29.05 million.
Cedric Daep, Apsemo chief, said the estimated damage was expected to rise as disaster officials worked around the clock to get the report from 15 municipalities and 3 cities. In Legazpi City, houses made of light materials in the coastal villages of Baybay, Sabang, Pigcale, and San Roque were blown.
Nelly David, 50, mother of 10 children of Barangay Sabang, a coastal village of Legazpi City, said Tisoy completely flattened their home to the ground.
“We don’t have home to return to as it was destroyed completely by typhoon Tisoy. We don’t know how to rebuild it again specifically that my husband is sick and I am jobless,” she said in Bicolano between sobs.
Nelly was asking the administrators of the Legazpi Port Elementary School to let them stay there for a few weeks while waiting for government aid to rebuild her home.
“We are begging for the teachers of Legazpi Port Elementary School to let us stay temporarily here. We are also asking the government to help us rebuild our houses destroyed by the typhoon despite of a sea wall built by the city government of Legazpi,” she said.
Residents of the coastal villages of Pigcale, Sabang, Baybay, and San Roque – whose houses were built out of light materials – were left homeless. These barangays were supposed to be protected by the new seawall from storm surges, the seawall couldn’t stand the strong winds.
Aside from destroying close to 300 houses in the villages of Baybay, Sabang, Pigcale, and San Roque, the seawall and Legazpi City pier were also destroyed by storm surges.
Tisoy also destroyed agriculture and government infrastructures, like the Legazpi City Domestic Airport, the Philippines Ports Authority pier, and houses. Electric posts were toppled down and trees were uprooted in many parts of the Bicol region.
Albay remained powerless while communication lines were also affected by typhoon.
Mayor Noel Rosal said Legazpi City achieved the zero casualty goal of the government, but he asked the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to expedite the rehabilitation of domestic airport here, as it would affect the travellers and economy of the region.
Albay Representative Joey Sarte Salceda said flights would resume Wednesday, December 4, citing information from aeronautics chief Jim Sydiongco and DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade.
But Salceda expressed concern about the safety of departing passengers because manual inspection would be done on the baggages and there were still broken glasses in the departure area.
Claudio Yucot, Office of Civil Defense regional director and chairman of Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council in Bicol, said there were no reported casualties to date.
“We’re still awaiting reports from 6 provinces, poor communication and delayed power restoration hinder them from sending immediate reports to our office,” Yucot said. – Rappler.com
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