VIRAC, Catanduanes – Catandunes Gov. Joseph Cua has appealed for help and assistance for his province and constituents in the wake of their brutal mauling by Super Typhoon Rolly over the All Saints Day weekend.
Rolly left five people dead and caused massive destruction in the island province, flattening at least 13,000 houses in communities along the coastlines of Catanduanes when it made its first landfall in Bato town at 4:50 a.m. on Sunday.
“We really need help from our national government. We are also requesting telcos to expedite their restoration efforts so that we could establish again contacts in and outside Catanduanes, particularly the family members and relatives of our constituents,” Cua said in a virtual media briefing with Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday.
Roque asked Cua to list down all their urgent needs so they could be loaded into the C-130 plane that would ferry the requested supplies to Catanduanes shortly.
Aside from food and other basic neccesities, Cua also requested for drinking water since water facility utilities were also destroyed, leavin the people without safe potable water supply.
The Philippine Army assigned in Catabduanes also requested for additional personnel to help augment their relief distribution efforts across the different towns.
Cua said Catanduanes totally lost electric power and communication signals after 80 percent of the electric cooperative’s facilities and telecommunication lines were toppled down by “Rolly” as it barreled through Bato, Gigmoto, Baras, San Andres and Virac towns.
“Rolly is stronger and more devastating than (past) super typhoons that hit Catanduanes, such as Rosing in 1995 and Nina in 2016,” Cua noted, adding that Rolly spawned up to five-meter high storm surges along their coastlines.
Major roads across Catanduanes have also remained impassable due to landslides and fallen trees that rendered access to hard-hit towns very difficult. Damage to other infrastructures was estimated to have reached up to P1 billion, the governor shared.
Cua said the devastation to abaca plantations reached P400 million. Abaca or Manila hemp is a major industry in Catanduanes contributing P150 million in monthly revenues, he added.