SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/08 November) – Super Typhoon “Yolanda” displaced thousands of residents and damaged a number of homes, but left no casualties in Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands provinces, an official said.
“Neither a single fatality nor injury is reported so far during the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda in the province,” Marilyn Puno, officer-designate of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council officer told MindaNews Friday.
She said most evacuees across the province have returned home on Friday.
As of 10 a.m. Friday, PDRRMC had tallied at least 8,978 families or 29,881 who sought shelter at different evacuation centers in various municipalities including Surigao City.
There were 437 more families that sought shelter in churches and other buildings across the province.
Only six houses were totally damaged, five in Barangay Consolacion in Dapa town and one in General Luna town, both in Siargao Island, the PDRRMC said.
A total of 61 houses were partially damaged, 56 in General Luna, three in Pilar town, and two in Surigao City, it added.
Strong winds and heavy rains brought by Yolanda were felt at 12 midnight Thursday in the city where floods hit the low-lying areas but were not as high compared to previous ones.
Water supply was cut off early morning Friday after the pipelines were clogged, according to Benjamin R. Ensomo Jr., general manager of Surigao Metropolitan Water District.
He promised to unclog the pipes and restore water supply by 4:00 p.m. Friday for its roughly 20,000 concessionaires.
Narciso I. Caliao, general manager of Surigao del Norte Electric Cooperative Inc., said a total blackout hit the city when strong winds toppled down some electric poles.
He said that at 7:00 a.m. he was told that at least six poles were downed, but added the number may go up as his personnel were still doing clearing operations.
“Works to replace the poles are underway,” he said.
Also in Surigao City, the winds uprooted several trees one of which partially destroyed two houses in Sitio Payawan, Barangay Luna owned by Mario Tejano and a certain Mersa.
Andress Dacuron, whose house is located next to Tejano’s said a gmelina tree fell on the roofs on his neighbors’ houses around 3:00 a.m. Friday, rousing him and his family from sleep.
In Dinagat Island, 2012 families sought shelter in different evacuation centers in seven municipalities, Rosario Roxas, provincial media liaison officer, told MindaNews over the phone.
She said Yolanda claimed no lives in their province but caused damaged to properties and toppled down several electric poles and trees.
Roxas, however, said she did not know yet the number of houses destroyed and the extent of damage.
“We are still doing the inspections of the affected areas and giving relief to affected families,” she explained.
In Surigao del Sur, Jimmy Cabilan of Purok 3, Barangay Poblacion in Lingig town died from electrocution, Liza Mazo, regional director of Office of the Civil Defense said.
Before Yolanda entered the country President Aquino had given instructions to aim for a “zero casualty”. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)