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MANILA, Philippines – A day after super typhoon Yolanda (international codename Haiyan) hit Iloilo, the province plans to declare a state of calamity to hasten recovery efforts.
The province’s Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) is set to convene in a special meeting Saturday afternoon, November 9 to declare a state of calamity, according to chair Jerry Bionat.
Bionat said he expects the Sangguinang Panlalawigan to approve the resolution which would allow the quick release of calamity funds.
A day earlier, 4 towns in Iloilo were placed under a state of calamity, namely the towns of Dumangas, Mina, Janiuay, and Zarraga.
The PDRRMC reported 5,608 families or 28,040 individuals in 17 towns were affected by the typhoon, while 16,847 individuals have sought refuge in 81 evacuation centers.
One of the most intense typhoons on record, Yolanda whipped across the central parts of the country for most of Friday, November 8.
Around 50% of the population remain without power – and it may be that way for a while. According to the Philippine Information Agency, Iloilo Electric Cooperative I manager Wilfred Billena said a large portion of the area will remain without electricity because of debris from fallen trees and posts.
Local authorities have called on the Department of Public Works and Highways to start the clearing of roads in northern and central towns – a job locals have undertaken but cannot do alone.
As of Saturday morning, some 500 passengers bound for northern Iloilo were reportedly stranded at the Tagbac, Jaro terminal, after buses were forced to turn back due to impassable roads.
But Iloilo is slowly working towards recovery.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said Iloilo’s airport, along with Masbate and Bacolod’s, is back in operation as of 5am Satuday, after being closed on Friday. Airports in Tacloban City, Roxas and Kalibo however, remain closed.
The Philippine Coast Guard has also authorized sea travel to and from Iloilo.
As of Friday night, two casualities were reported. One was 28-year-old Randy Sijar, who died from electrocution in Barangay Alibunan from the town of Calinog. The other was Marissa Pedregosa, who was hit by a galvanized iron that flew from the roofing in Barangay Imbang Pequeño in San Enrique town. – Rappler.com
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