CEBU CITY, Philippines – The town of Malabuyoc, which had been almost completely isolated from the rest of the province of Cebu since Typhoon Odette hit a week ago, finally received its first batch of aid from the provincial government on Wednesday, December 23.
The local government unit received seven truckloads of rice, water, and essential goods. However, Malabuyoc Mayor Lito Creus was fearful that the supplies may not last very long.
“Right now we are giving out rice…. This is limited. I’m afraid na di ni mo-last (this won’t last),” he said.
Of the 4,000 houses in the municipality, about 80% have been damaged while 20% are completely destroyed, Creus said.
The southeastern town of Malabuyoc is completely cut off from the rest of the province on both ends. The bridge connecting it to the neighboring town of Ginatilan collapsed after Typhoon Odette. The national road connecting Malabuyoc from the northern part of the province also remains inaccessible to four-wheeled vehicles.
Creus said residents’ only means of ingress and egress was via motorcycle and water crafts.
A single-lane bridge is being constructed in lieu of the collapsed bridge. The provincial government estimates about a week until it becomes passable.
Like the rest of the province, Malabuyoc’s immediate needs are food and water.
Typhoon Odette made landfall at least nine times from December 16 to 17, triggering forced evacuations and leaving swaths of destruction in parts of all island groups in the Philippines. – Rappler.com