Dinagat Islands 'leveled to the ground', need water, food, building materials

Dinagat Islands 'leveled to the ground', need water, food, building materials
Photo from the Facebook page of Vice President Leni Robredo shows the provincial capitol of Dinagat Islands destroyed during the onslaught of Typhoon Odette (Rai).
Vice President Leni Robredo's Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines — The province of Dinagat Islands needs food, drinking water, and building materials as residents reel from the aftermath of Typhoon Odette (Rai), an official from the provincial government said Monday.

‘Odette’—the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the Philippines this year—left Dinagat Islands in Caraga region "leveled to the ground," Jeff Crisostomo, the province’s information officer, said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.

At least 14 people were reported dead in Dinagat Islands, Crisostomo said. The typhoon also “totally damaged” 14,000 houses in the province.

"Whenever people ask me what the affected population is, I would say all of Dinagatnons. It’s 128,000 or more people in our province," the official said.  

"Many are left homeless. Many don’t have a food anymore or drinking water. That’s why we’re asking for help, not just from the national government, but our citizens, and partners abroad to send help in the form of potable water, food, temporary shelter, building materials and fuel so we can deliver the goods to 100 barangays, especially in our island barangays," he added.

According to Crisostomo, the national government has committed to provide food packs.

In a Facebook post, Vice President Leni Robredo called for immediate assistance as “food is running out” in the Dinagat Islands.

According to the Philippine Navy, it is deploying its ships to help with relief efforts in Mindanao. The BRP Gregorio Velasquez, BRP Hilario Ruiz and BRP Rafael Pargas are already in Northern Mindanao "have completed several relief sorties already," the navy said.

BRP Ang Pangulo — a presidential yacht converted into a hospital ship — is also on the way bearing relief supplies.

The Philippine National Police reported that ‘Odette’ left at least 208 people dead after ravaging central and southern Philippines. — Gaea Katreena Cabico


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