Senator Richard Gordon, who also chairs the Philippine Red Cross, said Monday that Tropical Storm Rolly destroyed at least 80% of residences in three Catanduanes towns.
Gordon said that agencies could not determine the full extent of Rolly’s damage in the province so far because most communication lines were also damaged according to on-site reports of Red Cross personnel on the ground.
National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council executive director Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad said they had lost contact on Sunday with Catanduanes after the landfall.
“11 bayan kasi diyan [sa Catanduanes]. Doon sa tatlong bayan, ang nahagilap nung tatlong tao namin na nakamotorsiklo, visual lang ito, mga 80% ang damaged sa mga bahay,” Gordon said in a Dobol B sa News TV interview.
“Maraming mga bahay ang nasira talaga, kaya magpapadala kami ng tarpaulin at mga yero at baka magkasakit ang mga tao. Papa-swab rin namin [for COVID-19] kung may flu,” he added.
Pagasa raised the highest warning, Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 5, in Catanduanes before it hit the province.
Gordon said that Virac, Catanduanes’ capital, was also heavily devastated, including the town’s hospitals and supermarkets.
Catanduanes severely damaged by Rolly
The Red Cross chief added many missing persons, and lack of oil supply has also been reported.
“Mayroon kaming satellite phone, pero wala pang internet [connection],” Gordon said, adding so far only three towns have been visited by PRC personnel.
“Tatlong bayan pa lang ang nakikita namin kaya sana iyong ibang bayan hindi naman inabot ng daluyong,” he said.
The Office of Civil Defense Region V on Sunday night reported that 10 people died in the Bicol Region. Of this number, nine of the casualties were from Albay and one from Catanduanes.
Of the nine fatalities in Albay, three are from Guinobatan, including a 5-year-old child.
The OCD V said three people were reported missing in Guinobatan.
According to Pagasa’s severe weather bulletin issued 11 am today, Tropical Storm Rolly maintains strength while moving Westward over the West Philippine Sea.
On the forecast track, “ROLLY” is expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) tomorrow morning.