JIABONG, Eastern Samar – In the aftermath of Typhoon Ruby (international name: Hagupit), Samar bears the brunt of its first salvo – with flooded streets, fallen trees, and failing calls.
Pia Ranada reports.
PIA RANADA, REPORTING: We’re now at Yaan road where you can see behind me a landslide which happened because of Typhoon Ruby’s landfall last night. This is a very critical road because it’s the only road that leads to places like Tacloban, Dolores, Borongan and other provinces and towns hit by Typhoon Ruby so an engineer from DPWH just told me that a lot of relief goods and army trucks weren’t able to pass through because of the landslide but they assure us that by 5 pm today they will be able to clear at least one road so that the trucks can get through.
A long line of military trucks wait for the landslide debris to be cleared. They need to get to Dolores fast. 8th Infantry Division Commander Major General Jet Velarmino tells Rappler they lost communication with a battalion and don’t know the situation in the town where Ruby first made landfall.
The Department of Public Works and Highways says they are doing all they can to clear out the choke points.
JOEL CASTILLO, ENGINEER, DPWH REGION 8: Tulong tulong ito pero may darating kaming loader, on the way. Pagdating ng equipment, hindi namin iiwan ito hangga’t hindi open. (We’re helping each other out but we have a loader on the way. When the equipment gets here, we won’t leave until the lane is open.)
Eventually, they are able to clear one lane. But further down the road, a trickier problem arises. Flood waters on this road reaches around 5 feet in some parts. Even the army’s 6 by 6 vehicle may not get through. But this road in Buray is one of only two roads connecting Dolores, Borongan and Tacloban to Northern and Western Samar.
The other road in Barangay Tulay Sta Rita is also flooded and inaccessible. In other parts of Samar, government and citizens help clear large trees.
Clearing the roads will make way for relief goods and medical teams sorely needed by affected communities.
We will continue to deliver news and updates on Typhoon Ruby’s aftermath.
Pia Ranada, Rappler, Jiabong, Eastern Samar. – Rappler.com