Diseases outbreak in ‘Odette’ areas as death toll surpasses 400

HOUSES DESTROYED by typhoon Odette

By Jeanne Michael Penaranda
CEBU CITY – The reported fatalities from Typhoon Odette has increased to 407 with 83 people still missing while those injured reached 1,147, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported as an diseases outbreak were noted in areas hit by the super typhoon.
As the government rushed to bring food, water and clothing to devastated areas and power, communications and water facilities were being restored, a new threat appeared in recent days with at least 140 people falling ill from suspected contaminated water.

Eighty people were taken ill with acute gastroenteritis in Dinagat Islands, while 54 people are being treated for diarrhea in hospital in Siargao, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

Meanwhile, Cebu City reported 16 diarrhea cases, she said.
“We all know these areas suffered water interruption. Some areas still have tap water but pipes have been damaged and so there is a possibility of contamination,” Vergeire said.
Vergeire said the typhoon also spoiled more than 4,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines and damaged 141 hospitals and clinics, only 30 of which have resumed full operations.
Assistance poured from several countries and organizations, including the United Nations, with the United States sending over P1 billion in assistance. The UN released $12 million relief assistance for the typhoon victims, according to UN undersecretary-general for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths who said the aid comes from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund.
The government alone has set aside P10 billion for assistance and rehabilitation in the affected cities, towns and provinces. (See related stories)
President Rodrigo Duterte  pledged P5,000 for indigent families affected by Typhoon Odette. Aside from the P5,000 cash aid, Duterte also directed the National Housing Authority (NHA) to provide P100 million worth of assistance to residents whose shelters were partially or totally destroyed by the typhoon.
Duterte also vowed to revisit areas ravaged by Typhoon Odette, to assess relief, recovery, and rehabilitation efforts of the government.
Duterte previously visited Maasin, Leyte; Inabanga, Bohol; Argao, Cebu; and Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, Dinagat Islands, and Siargao Island.
Vice President Leni Robredo and several officials also visited the affected areas while Sen. Manny Pacquiao sent planeloads of assistance to the victims. Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso, former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Sen. Panfilo Lacson also extended help to the typhoon victims.

A total of 1,082,910 families or 4,235,400 people were affected by the typhoon in MIMAROPA, CARAGA, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and Regions, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.

The agency also said a total of 506,404 houses were damaged — 339,327 partially and 167,077 totally damaged — due to Odette. The estimated cost of damaged houses was at 28,163,718.

Odette, the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, displaced over 561,000 people. More than 300,000 people remain in evacuation camps, with more than 200,000 others sheltering in the homes of relatives or friends.

Odette also damaged 276 infrastructures — including government facilities, health facilities, roads, and schools — which amounted to P16,711,209,182.11.

The typhoon also damaged 79,282,037 hectares of crops, 1,174,296, livestock and poultry and 2,949.46 agricultural infrastructure/equipment. Estimated cost of damage to agriculture was at P6.5 billion, the NDRRMC said.

A total of 284 cities and municipalities experienced power outages or interruption in Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, Caraga, and the BARMM. Power has been restored in 161 cities and municipalities as of this time.

Meanwhile, a total of 18 cities and municipalities experienced water supply outage/ interruption in Mimaropa, Northern Mindanao, and Caraga while water supply has been restored in one locality.

A total of 371 cities and municipalities experienced interruption in telecommunications services in Mimaropa, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Caraga, and the BARMM. Telecommunications services have been fully restored in 115 cities and municipalities.

Bringing back the electricity in Bohol has been a challenge for the Department of Energy (DOE) Task Force on Energy Resiliency (TFER), but power in the province is expected to be back in some areas this week, said DOE Director Mario Marasigan.

 Restoration works of communication lines and towers in areas heavily affected by Typhoon Odette continued.
In a service update, landline and broadband provider PLDT and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) said fixed-line services have been restored in more than 90 percent of its covered areas in Palawan, with wireless services in the province now at 83 percent restored.

Globe Telecom Inc. (Globe) reported that mobile network services in the provinces of Leyte and Southern Leyte are 50 percent complete.

“This includes 41 municipalities and cities in Leyte and five towns in Southern Leyte. Globe’s field teams are working 24/7 to bring communications facilities back following the devastation caused by Typhoon Odette,” Globe said.

In Cebu, it said 20 areas have so far been restored while its GoWiFi facility at the Mactan International Airport is up and running and offers access to all users.