CATEEL, Davao Oriental – In this documentary shot in early January, shirtless men and teenage boys begin rebuilding the town’s damaged pump. Vendors sell homemade bread. The gas stations are operational. At the town plaza, a group of young boys play baseball on the painted tile. Chalk signs are written on plywood walls—”Pablo Sari-sari store” is open for business, so is a small cafeteria newly named “Signal No. 3.”
The barangays of Cateel are dependent on agriculture, many residents working in the coconut fields, some with small investments on the harvest. After Pablo, homes were reduced to rubble, schools were crushed by strong wind, coconut trees were either ripped by the roots or broken halfway. 120 casualties were reported, with 361 injured, according to Consuegra. Early reports list at least 11 killed at evacuation centers, including the local elementary schools.
At the time of this writing, a month and three weeks after Pablo, Cateel is again deep in floodwater, this time from a January 19 cold front. No casualties have yet been reported.
According to Cateel Chief of Police Superintendent Vince Consuegra, forced evacuations to higher ground are being implemented in the villages of Taytayan, Alegria, San Vicente, San Alfonso and Aragon. Cateel’s residents claim they will fight, and they hope to return Cateel to the way it was by January 2014. It may be a harder task than they expected.
You can help the victims of the Davao flooding and Typhoon Pablo through Rappler’s continuing “Text to help” campaign. – Video by John Javellana and Patricia Evangelista / Rappler.com
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