CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 16 December) — Some 2,000 riverside residents sought shelter in evacuation centers early morning of Thursday, December 16, hours before typhoon “Odette” made landfall over Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte.
“Odette’s” landfall on December 16, 2021 comes exactly 10 years to the day Typhoon “Sendong” (Washi) struck, leaving 1,268 dead in Mindanao and the Visayas. Of this number, 1,227 were from Mindanao, 734 of them residents of Cagayan de Oro, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction Coordinating Council.
Mike Fabello of the Cagayan de Oro City Social Welfare and Development Office said 152 families or some 2,000 persons sought shelter in elementary school soon after PAGASA raised the orange alert level here Thursday.
In one evacuation center in West City Central School in Barangay Carmen, some 50 families huddled inside the gym.
Barangay Carmen officials brought hot soup to warm the evacuees, many of whom arrived drenched due to the relentless rain Thursday dawn.
Fabello said mandatory evacuations were not yet implemented since Cagayan de Oro is still under Signal 1.
Nick Jabagat, chief of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, said most of the streets were flooded by 10 a.m. Thursday.
Jabagat said a landslide in sitio Macapaya in barangay Indahag cut vehicular traffic between Cagayan de Oro and Libona town in Bukidnon.
“Floodwaters near Centrio Ayala Mall were already waist deep by 10 a.m.,” Jabagat said.
Jabagat said barangay tanods stopped vehicles from plying CM Recto fronting SM Downtown Premier after the floodwaters spilled into the highway.
The Philippine Coast Guard prevented all vessels from venturing out to sea starting on Thursday morning.
In Dinagat Island, which is directly on the path of “Odette,” Jeff Crisostomo, chief of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, said howling winds buffeted the houses on the island Thursday morning.
“We are concerned that it would grow worse tonight when Odette makes a landfall,” Crisostomo said.
He said 3,000 residents have taken shelter in the province’s 33 evacuation centers.
Capt. Teody Agustin, spokesperson of the Army 901st Infantry Brigade said the highway between Butuan City and San Francisco town in Agusan del Sur was cut off by a landslide in Sibagat town, Thursday.
In Lianga, Surigao del Sur, Roger Enriquez of the NGO Balay Mindanaw said a three-meter high storm surge forced the evacuation of some 200 families in Barangay Diatagon and San Agustin town. (Froilan Galardo / MindaNews)