Over 600 tourists flown out of Siargao

Over 600 tourists flown out of Siargao
People queue up to board a humanitarian flight out of Siargao airport in Del Carmen, Siargao island on December 21, 2021, days after Super Typhoon Odette (Rai) hit the island.
AFP / Roel Catoto

MANILA, Philippines — More than 600 tourists stranded in the world-famous Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte have been brought to Manila after the onslaught of Typhoon Odette (Rai), a lawmaker said Wednesday.

In an interview with TeleRadyo, Rep. Francisco Matugas II (Surigao del Norte) said there may be over 1,000 domestic tourists who are still trapped in Siargao.

Tourists need to go to the airport so they can be flown out of the island because there are no scheduled flights yet.

“Sinasabi lang naming pumunta sa airport at magpalista. (We tell them to go to the airport and register.) We will prioritize persons with disabilities, senior citizens and mothers with children because seats are limited,” Matugas said.

RELATED: Bound by storms and surfing, Borongan sends aid to Siargao

Odette, the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the disaster-prone country this year, made its first landfall in Siargao Island last Thursday, uprooting trees, destroying wooden buildings, and knocking down power poles.

Then, it made eight more destructive landfalls in southern and central Philippines.

Matugas said Siargao remained without electricity and communications.

"We are hoping that we will be provided a lot of food packs, water and shelter," he said.

According to the lawmaker, the typhoon left at least 19 people dead in Siargao.

At least 375 individuals were killed in areas ravaged by Odette, the Philippine National Police reported. — Gaea Katreena Cabico



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