Super typhoon Odette was in the news since a week before it strike in Philippines Area of Responsibility (PAR) due to its strong characteristics. We’ve check Earth Null School, indeed it’s strong and becoming stronger as it nears the land in Siargao Northern Mindanao and in eastern Visayas in Leyte.
Afternoon of December 15 before power and telecoms signal went down in Cebu, we’re still able to see Facebook posts about typhoon Odette devastating Siargao. It is making first landfall there and the wind is very very strong.
Meanwhile, at 10am, we’ve started evacuating children, few things and food supplies and water. They are already “secured” in the school building nearby. We also started evacuating older folks.
5pm – winds started hovering crazily above head. By the way, we are in Sibonga this time and the eye of the Typhoon Odette is projected to make a 3rd landfall. It moved already from Siargao approaching Bohol. Checking Earth Null School, the typhoon is still getting stronger (even it made already a first landfall). Part of Bohol fronting east is wrecked the most hit by a category 4 typhoon. Other parts of Bohol is no better.
At 6pm, I joined them in the evac area – which is the nearby school.
7:15pm, strong winds starts hovering above
9:15 – 11:20pm approximate of 2hrs very strong wind bang the doors and roof. We could only see emergency lights and little lights from flashlights. Outside, trees started falling and lamp posts breaks. It is night time and very dark, lights and electricity out. We could clearly hear the winds whirling, roofs and walls “about to break”. Everyone are afraid but are vigilant. Trying to comfort small children that are crying.
Eye of the Typhoon over head
11:20 to 11:45pm appears the typhoon ends. Wind relaxes and calm. Adults went out to see what happens, that includes me. Not a surprise, fallen trees are scattered everywhere. Streets are no longer recognizable.
There are people outside who are still moving, carrying bags, packs and sadly children. They are wet. They were from wrecked gym and looking for another refuge. Some were from “strong” home but head of the typhoon is already breaking parts of their home. We’ve approached them that there are still vacancies or at least rooms for them in the school/evac center so they get in.
11:45pm – 2:50am Badlong – local term for the reverse wind. Actualy it’s the tail of the typhoon after an eye passes to an area. If you do “badlong”, means you are tougher. Indeed, the wind is worst 2x faster than the head wind. I’m even so afraid that the roof where we are in about to be carried. Glass with bars window are breaking. We can hear roof from other home landed in the roof we are in. Flying wood bars landed anywhere breaking the walls it hit. People started shouting, some are already crying. We can hear the wind whirling as if there’s an airplane. I can feel the cemented floor were vibrating. That happens for more than 2hrs. A little good thing about typhoon Odette doesn’t bring heavy rains!
A little comforting to Sparkle, our little 2 yrs old, singing her favorite nursery songs to ease the tense and fear.
4:00am Typhoon started to calm as it passes but unlike other typhoons, the tail of Odette still strong. Rain still on. Daylight shows but cloudy still, adults are now allowed to go outside to check homes. We could not recognize our place anymore!
Houses in the neighborhood are gone. 90% flashed and totally destroyed and inhabitable. 10% are damaged but can be repaired. Thankfully, ours belong to the 10%.
6:00am We started clearing fallen objects and other obstacles. We do workaround repairs, re-used materials temporarily so we can go back if possible later that day.
Many are still in the evacuation center / school. No more home to return to.
Looking for food and water supplies. Canned goods, noodles and “stock quick foods” depleted. Luckily, there are remains from poultry, people have something to eat chicken.. eggs. Salvage from coconut fruit, bananas and other remains we can eat. There is a deepwell in the neighborhood for water supply atleast we can use. Thankfully, this can be drink but if you have a light stomach, not sure if you can, but no choice..
Local store opened, atleast, to sell / share what they have left in the store.
People started to move but no gasoline. Gas stations are destroyed and no power as well. There are few who have generators and able to operate, so a very long line for consumers. Road are in-passable this time, no tanker supply from the City. Note that Cebu City is affected and many depo are destroyed. This situation goes for a week and the following weeks.
In the city.. we could see power contractors and personnel are doing double time to catch up lights hopefully before new year..
Updates.. 20 days later
Leaves started to grow, a little green can be seen.
A month and half past from now.. update Feb 11
Primary power lines are now up and they are working for the secondary lines, which include us. Hopefully we will get the power back soon. Cross fingers.
Updates end of February
So far rehabilitation of electricity and power in the most affected areas are now 80% restored. More and more houses are now lighted. Establishments almost got back to normal. Hope the pace will keep until everything are set as it was before. Bangon Sugbo!