Siargao residents brace for ‘Typhoon Odette’

Residents trim tree branches in Cloud Nine in anticipation of the wrath of a potential typhoon expected to hit Siargao Islands in this photo taken on December 13, 2021. MindaNews photo by ROEL N. CATOTO

GENERAL LUNA, Siargao Islands (MindaNews / 13 December) —Local officials and residents here are bracing for the impact of a potential typhoon that is expected to hit this world-famous island on Thursday.

The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council – Caraga (RDRRMC – Caraga) warned Monday that a potential tropical cyclone was expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Tuesday evening, December 14. It will be named “Odette” once it enters the PAR.

It may intensify into a typhoon before making landfall in the vicinity of Eastern Visayas or Caraga by Thursday afternoon or evening, December 16, it said, citing state weather forecaster PAGASA’s advisory dated December 12.

General Luna Mayor Cecilia Rusillon has called a meeting in preparation for Odette.

“The local disaster council will convene this afternoon in preparation for this typhoon,” she said.

Based on the 11 a.m. Monday PAGASA advisory, the center of the tropical depression was spotted 1,760 kilometers east of Mindanao, packing maximum sustained winds of 55 km/h and gustiness of up to 70 km/h. It is moving westward at 10 km/h.

Local residents are now bracing for the possible impact of the potential typhoon.

Workers have been spotted trimming tree branches Monday morning at the different accommodations along the famous Cloud Nine area.

“We better prepare than getting hit by this reportedly strong storm,” said Jose Figuron, who owns an accommodation in Jacking Horse, a surfing spot for beginners.

Several guests from different accommodations on the island have to end their length of vacation earlier than scheduled because of the potential typhoon.

“As much as we want to stay longer, we have to leave the island today because of the incoming typhoon that’s expected to make landfall here,” tourist Rebecca Uy said.

Richard Sharpe, a resident in Pilar town, had been posting about the incoming storm since last Saturday on Siargao Classified, a group on Facebook.

Sharpe plans to evacuate his family somewhere safer on the island.

“We are keeping an eye on this storm, we pray that we will be spared from its wrath,” Sharpe said.

Several boat owners have safely moored their boats at the different mangrove forests in preparation for the impact of the typhoon.

Matt Cuadra, owner of Coastal Reef Adventure, a local car rental company, has asked the management of the Siargao Sports Complex to allow him to park his cars there for safety.

Several beachfront property owners have been preparing sandbags and plywoods to protect glass doors and windows. (Roel Catoto / MindaNews)