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Bacolod reports on Typhoon Odette

Super Typhoon Odette either destroyed or damaged properties and agricultural products worth P74.2 million, the Bacolod City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said in an updated report.

Dr. Anna Maria Laarni Pornan, city DRRMO head, also said yesterday that Odette destroyed 745 houses and damaged 8,309 in 57 out of 61 barangays.

Despite the extent of destruction brought about by the typhoon, no death or injury was reported as Odette battered Bacolod and many parts of the province’s southern towns and cities, Mayor Evelio Leonardia noted.

Leonardia attributed the zero-fatality and zero-injury records to the LGU’s readiness and implementation of pre-emptive evacuation before Odette hit Bacolod.

Pornan’s post-typhoon update and the report of Pacita Tero, head of the Department of Social Services and Development, were the basis of the Sangguniang Panlungsod declaration placing Bacolod City under a state of calamity with the passage of SP Resolution No. 722.

Western Visayas, including Bacolod, was earlier declared under a state of calamity by President Rodrigo Duterte by virtue of Presidential Proclamation 1267.

AGRICULTURE

Considerable damage to agriculture was reported by Pornan, who said that losses to the sector was estimated at P19.2 million.

Total losses to the fisheries sector and poultry reached P15 million and P2 million respectively, while vegetables, rice farmers and growers of other crops lost P1.5 million.

Estimated damage to those engaged in mushroom culture was P600,000.

TOPPLED TREES, POWER LINES

Hundreds of trees were uprooted and CENECO posts and power lines were toppled as Odette’s strong winds lashed Bacolod, rendering major and secondary thoroughfares and barangay roads impassable.

Bacolod was plunged into darkness late Thursday night with power restored two days later, while many areas still without electricity after five days even as CENECO crew worked on restoring supply 24/7.

Some parts of Bacolod experiencing power outage were also without water supply from Baciwa-PrimeWater.

Forty cell towers of Telcos in the Visayas and Mindanao areas pushed communications provider Globe Telecom to cut landline and mobile connectivity in Bacolod.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE

In an emergency meeting hours before Odette hit the city, the CDRRMO identified 15 areas of concerns and 25 initial schools with more than 300 classrooms that will serve as evacuation centers.

The CDRRMO also opened its emergency command center at the old city hall and monitored the track of the typhoon as early as December 14.

DSSD IN ACTION

Tero was tasked by Leonardia to spearhead the preparation and delivery of relief packs and non-food supplies to evacuees.

She said five additional evacuation centers were opened, including the Bacolod City Government Center.

Some 2,000 food packs, hygiene kits and beddings were distributed by the DSSD, which also put up a kitchen in each evacuation center.

PRE-EMPTIVE EVACUTION

As Bacolod was placed under Signal No. 3, the city government asserted a pre-emptive evacuation, focusing on residents living in high-risk and critical areas.

The move resulted in the evacuation of 5,639 individuals or 1,350 families from 33 barangays with no reported deaths and injuries.

Leonardia said that it was the first time that the city had implemented pre-emptive evacuation Involving such big number and it saved the lives of many Bacolodnons.

The mayor commended the CDRRMC for its readiness as well as its initiative to extend help to other LGUs that were badly hit by the typhoon.

Families whose homes were destroyed will receive P10,000 in financial aid from the city government, while those with damaged houses will get P5,000 and P2,000 based on assessment, DRRMO cluster head Joemarie Vargas said, echoing Leonardia’s earlier announcement.

STATE OF CALAMITY

The declaration of Bacolod under a state of calamity coincided with Resolution No. 11 of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and Proclamation No. 1267 of President Rodrigo Duterte that placed six regions, including Western Visayas, under a state of calamity.

The NDRRMC also provided the criteria for an area to be declared under a state of calamity in Memorandum Order No. 60.

Memorandum No. 60 stipulates that a city, municipality, province or region may be declared under the state of calamity if at least 15 percent of the population and 30 percent of the means of livelihood on agriculture, business and industrial sectors are affected.

The disruption of lifelines such as food supply chain, electricity, potable water system, other transport systems, communication, access to health services and other related systems that cannot be restored within one week or within 24 hours for highly urbanized areas is also a basis for the declaration.*

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