Philippine tropical cyclones

Rolly leaves at least 20 dead in Bicol

JC Gotinga

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Rolly leaves at least 20 dead in Bicol

A tricycle speed past toppled electric posts destroyed at the height of super Typhoon Goni after it hit Tabaco, Albay province, south of Manila on November 1, 2020. (


(UPDATED) Agricultural damage is initially estimated at P1.1 billion. Most parts of Bicol region are still without electricity.

At least 20 people were killed when Super Typhoon Rolly (Goni) barreled across the Bicol and Southern Luzon regions of the Philippines on Sunday, November 1, the Office of Civil Defense Region V (Bicol) said on Monday, November 2.

Of the 20 fatalities, 14 were from Albay, and 6 were from Catanduanes.

The fatalities in Albay were from the following municipalities and city:

  • Guinobatan: 7
  • Malinao: 3
  • Tabaco City: 2
  • Daraga: 1
  • Polangui: 1

In Catanduanes, the fatalities were from:

  • Virac: 4
  • Gigmoto: 1
  • San Miguel: 1

The Bicol region felt the full fury of Super Typhoon Rolly, which weakened into a typhoon on Sunday morning, and weakened further into a tropical storm as it left the Philippine landmass and made its way to the West Philippine Sea on Sunday evening.

Rolly affected more than 2 million people across 12 regions in Luzon and the Visayas.

No electricity, water in most parts of Bicol

As of 6 pm, 95,968 families or 368,395 persons were displaced – majority are in evacuation centers.

As of 8pm, almost all provinces in the Bicol region – except for Masbate – have no electricity.

Albay, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Masbate, Naga City, and parts of Camarines Sur have no water supply.

Communication lines down in Catanduanes

Communication lines were still down in Catanduanes, an island province east of mainland Bicol as of 8pm. A telco team was deployed to the area on Monday morning to restore communication using VSAT equipment, said National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Executive Director Ricardo Jalad.

Teams from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bureau of Fire Protection, and the Philippine Coast Guard have been deployed to Catanduanes, said Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.

Citing the regional police chief, Año said 90% of infrastructure on the island was damaged.

“Kaunting tiis na lang at makukuha natin ang picture ng buong Catanduanes (Just a little more patience and we will get the full picture in Catanduanes),” the interior secretary added.

P1.1 billion in agricultural damage

Rolly caused an initially estimated P1.1 billion in lost high-value crops including rice and corn, according to Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

This adds to nearly P2 billion in agricultural losses from Typhoon Quinta (Molave), which traced a similar path a week earlier.

Rolly destroyed some 20,000 hectares of crops, affecting around 20,000 farmers, said Dar.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has 133,326 bags of rice seeds, 17,545 bags of corn seeds, and 2,000 kilos of assorted vegetables to be distributed to affected farmers for replanting, Dar added.

For affected fishermen, the DA will distribute 10 million tilapia and milkfish fingerlings, as well as fishing equipment, Dar said.

These farmers and fishermen may avail of a P25,000 loan from the DA at zero interest, payable in 10 years, the agriculture chief said. Depending on the size of their farmland, farmers may also receive P10,000 to P15,000 as insurance from the government for their damaged crops.

Despite the agricultural damage, Dar said there is enough rice supply in the affected regions.

Some 242,000 hectares of rice plots equivalent to 1 million metric tons worth P16.9 billion were spared from Rolly, as well as 11,000 hectares of corn plots equivalent to 45,703 metric tons worth P579 million, Dar added. –

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JC Gotinga

JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.