Hundreds of people may be dead after Typhoon Yolanda landed on Bantayan Island.
After the landing, the island was left “cut-off” for several days after power went out and communication lines went down, and nearly all of the buildings on the island are destroyed.
Cebu Province Governor Junjun Davide said that 95 to 98 percent of homes in Bantayan were destroyed, reported journalist Leo Lastimosa.
Officials said that there are at least 19 people dead as of Sunday afternoon, and that count was before a complete survey of the island.
“Scores of dead” are reportedly on the island, the Philippine Information Agency said. Some estimates have been in the hundreds. For instance, Henk Kammeraad, who has family members there, said that he reached them and they are safe but that 300 people died on the island. There hasn’t been an updated official count since Sunday.
At the same time, Edwin Lopez of Lipayran, an islet in Bantayan, told GMA News that no more than 25 people died.
Mayor Ian Escario said it would take two to three months for them to recover.
“I commend the people of Bantayan. We will help one another and we will not surrender. We will rise,” he told Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III, whose team reached the island on Saturday afternoon, reported the Sun Star.
Escario said 90 percent of the island was hit by the typhoon, wrecking nearly all the houses, schools, infrastructure, the poultry and piggery farms, and the biggest feed mill.
The mayor reportedly said that the city looks like a war zone. The typhoon landed on the island at 10:40 a.m. on Friday
Richard Go Batiquin, who is on the island, said via Facebook that Bantayan and Sta. Fe town “are badly hit and destroyed by Yolanda’s gruesome force.”
“It is total chaos,” he added, calling Santa Fe in particular “unrecognizable” after the damage.
Phone service has been restored to the island as of Sunday night, Smart Communication said.
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