No cell phone signal in 5 typhoon areas

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Malacañang says power and communication lines will be restored as soon as possible

TRAIL OF DESTRUCTION. Yolanda makes its way through Visayas. Image courtesy of PAGASA

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MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) Five areas battered by typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) on Friday, November 8, could not be reached via cellular phone or landline.

Power was also cut in many towns in central and eastern Visayas.

Yolanda, packing maximum sustained winds of 215 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 250 km/h, has been tagged as the the world’s most powerful storm this year.

The following areas, as of press time, could not be reached via cellular phone or landline:

  • Eastern Samar 
  • Palo, Leyte (headquarters of the Region VIII Office of Civil Defense) 
  • Tacloban City, Leyte 
  • Pacific and Panaon in Southern Leyte 
  • Biliran

Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas is currently in Tacloban City, according to staff members in Manila. Last night, Roxas and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin were in Palo, Leyte to oversee typhoon monitoring efforts in the area. 

Meanwhile, power interruption was reported in the following areas:

  • Eastern Samar 
  • Leyte 
  • Negros Occidental 
  • Bohol 
  • Some parts of Sibonga, Cebu
  • Areas connected to the Wright-Taft-Borongan-McArthur line 
  • Areas connected to the Catbalogan-Calbayog line
  • Areas connected to the Ormoc-Babatngon line
  • Samar Island 
  • Parts of Surigao del Norte
  • Some parts of Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu
  • Torrijos and Buenavista, Marinduque 
  • Naujan, Oriental Mindoro
  • Intermittent power in Bicol region
  • Parts of Danao City and Municipality of Tuburan
  • Albay 
  • Masbate 
  • Catanduanes 
  • Camarines Sur 
  • Sorsogon 
  • Camiguin

The Visayan Electric Cooperative on Friday, Nov 8 at 10am shut power down in the following cities for safety reasons:

  • Cebu City, Cebu
  • Mandaue, Cebu
  • Talisay, Cebu 
  • Minglanilla, Cebu
  • Naga, Cebu
  • San Fernando, Cebu 
  • Liloan, Cebu
  • Consolacion, Cebu

Power will resume in the Visayan Electric Cooperative franchise areas once it’s safe. Earlier, Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation Council officer Neil Sanchez said that the provincial government was receiving reports of damaged electricity posts but teams could not be sent to restore power immediately due to heavy rain.

Power is scheduled to be turned off in Iloilo at 10 pm, according to The Daily Guardian.

Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said that power and communication lines would be restored in the areas as soon as possible. 

Extensive damage is expected in 13 areas under storm signal number 4. Some 30 to 54 million people will be affected by the storm, with 5 million residing in the storm’s direct path. – Bea Cupin and Desiree Tan/

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