Odette one month later

Photo by Alan Tangcawan
Photo by Alan Tangcawan

In the evening of Dec. 16, 2021, Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) thrashed Metro Cebu—part of the storm’s nine landfalls in the Philippines. An hour past midnight, Odette was located in the southern town of Carcar, “with maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometers per hour near the center, and gustiness of up to 240 kph,” according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

A Jan. 13 report by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said that agriculture damage from the typhoon has now amounted to P11.4 billion (Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, the Davao Region, Soccsksargen, and Caraga).

In terms of infrastructure, the damage caused costs approximately P17.7 billion (Mimaropa, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Soccsksargen, Caraga and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao).

How many homes were affected? The count reached 1,360,447 according to the same report (Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, the Davao Region, Soccsksargen, Caraga and BARMM).

The report stated that the storm affected a total of 2,224,803 families and until now, 60,101 families are still being attended to in evacuation centers.

Updates to power, water, telecommunications and the internet are ongoing.

As of Jan. 14, around 1:30 p.m., Visayan Electric Company posted on its Facebook page that it was “able to energize 300,392 out of the 474,182 affected customers within its franchise area.”

On Jan. 11, the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) posted on its Facebook that it had already provided water to 88.2 percent of those affected within their franchise area. This was made possible with the use of generator sets, Visayan Electric Co.’s power restoration efforts, and the pump of MCWD’s bulk water supplier now operating.

Telecommunication companies Globe and Smart regularly update their respective Facebook pages on their restoration initiatives, while cell signal and mobile data remain intermittent in some locations.

One month since Odette, Cebu is picking up the pieces slowly but surely.


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