MANILA, Philippines – Hours after supertyphoon Yolanda (international codename Haiyan) left the Philippines, reports from Eastern Samar, where communication lines have been cut off since Friday, are finally trickling in.
In the aftermath of the typhoon, at least 200 people are feared dead in the province, a series of text messages from Eastern Samar Representative Ben Evardone said Saturday, November 9.
As of 8 pm, Saturday, most of the casualties were reported to be from the municipality of Hernani.
Evadone said his cousin, Arteche Mayor Rolando Evardone, was informed by the police and members of the Philippine Red Cross that about 200 to 300 people died in Hernani.
The information was relayed to the Red Cross by Plan Philippines, an international NGO which has several projects in Eastern Samar, Evardone said.
The lawmaker however stressed the estimates were not official.
“I hope the report about casualties in Hernani is not true,” Evardone said.
In the province’s capital city of Borongan, Evardone said there are 3 confirmed casualties while 11 crew members of a barge remain missing.
“Seawater crossed the highway. Bridges unpassable in Lalawigan, Borongan, and General MacArthur,” Evardone said.
Meanwhile, “minimal damage” was reported in the northern municipalities of Eastern Samar, including Arteche.
Communication lines in Eastern Samar have yet to be restored after telecommunication services in the province were cut off at the height of the typhoon, leaving relatives, as well as authorities, in the dark as to the real situation in the area.
Yolanda first hit land in the town of Guiuan in Eastern Samar at 4:40 am Friday.
Meanwhile, the international pilgrim statue of the Our Lady of Fatima was believed to be trapped in Eastern Samar.
The image was supposed to be brought to Borongan on Friday after an overnight vigil in the town of Dolores, roughly 66 kilometers from the province’s capital. – Rappler.com
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