Ormoc City: 12 Dead, Heavy Damage After Typhoon Yolanda Hits (+Photos)
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Ormoc City in Leyte Province was among the hardest areas hit by Typhoon Yolanda, along with Dulag, Tolasa, and Tublacon City, with 12 people dead in Ormoc alone.
Many more were killed in Tublacon, with an estimated 10,000 people dead nationwide.
Ormoc Rep. Lucy Torrez-Gomez told ABS-CBN that “there is not a single home in Ormoc that is not severely damaged.”
She told Rappler there’s thousands of homeless people after the typhoon damage and that there’s no clean water or electricity.
Residents have supplies and looting isn’t yet a problem like in other places, but help has to come soon.
“The latest information I got is that they have supplies but these would not last them a week anymore,” Gomez said. “Relief efforts should be in Ormoc by then.”
“The situation there is very bad,” Gomez said. “The entire city is devastated. Homes are damaged and it doesn’t matter whether they’re sturdy. Entire roads are gone, shanties across coastal areas are totally damaged.”
Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla told the Philippine Star that the residents of Ormoc are lucky because the city’s wells are deep, enabling them to continue functioning, and meaning they have fresh drinking water, unlike other areas that were hit.
The typhoon hit Guiuan around 4:40 a.m. before crossing the Leyte Gulf and making a second landfall around the three cities, the state weather bureau said at 7 a.m.
Christina Garcia Frasco, who is helping with relief efforts, said via Facebook that “the hunger, pain and suffering in Ormoc was palpable in every single person that I came across while going around the city.”
“ noticed, however, that people patiently lined up for hours for everything — whether it was to buy goods from the 1 or 2 open grocery stores, to purchase what little bread there was left in bakeries, to buy the ration of only 2 liters of gasoline per person or to get a bucket of water from some of the City’s fire hydrants and water lines.
Sadly, however, supplies for the basics are running out. Ormoc urgently needs your help.”
The roofs of most houses have been blown off, she said previously.
Most of the residents of Ormoc who had their homes destroyed are living in hotels, the Wall Street Journal reported. On Monday morning, people queued up for water at street taps and for oil at gas stations.
“We’ve been eating rice from relief agencies and cooking it over charcoal on the street,” said Jewel Mae, 21, a coffee seller whose home was demolished. Mae was resting in a hotel lobby, with friends who came to the hotel to charge their phones.
“I don’t know what we’re going to do,” she said. “All we have left is a floor—no walls, no ceiling.”
Most of the deaths happened in Tacloban City and Leyte Province.
The UN Disaster Assessment Team founds scenes of total devastation in Tacloban that are similar to the aftermath of Indian Ocean tsunami, said the Philippines embassy in Washington, D.C. “This is destruction on a massive scale,” said Rhodes Stampa of the UN. “There are cars thrown like tumble weed and the streets are strewn with debris.”
Weather officials said the typhoon, also known as Haiyan, sustained winds of 235 kph (147 mph) with gusts of 275 kph (170 mph) when it made landfall. That makes it the world’s strongest typhoon this year, said Aldczar Aurelio of the government’s weather bureau.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report