1 dead, 1,500 families homeless in Cordova due to ‘Odette’

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ONE person was killed while at least 1,500 families have been left homeless after Typhoon Odette (Rai) swept through Cordova town last Dec. 16.

This was what Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia learned during her visit to the third class municipality last Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021.

Cordova Mayor Mary Therese “Teche” Sitoy-Cho reported that seven of the town’s 13 barangays had been badly hit by Odette, especially the island barangay of Gilutongan, according to Sugbo News, the official news platform of the Cebu Provincial Government.

Eighty-five percent of Gilutongan suffered damage, the Cordova Public Information Office (PIO) announced earlier on the town’s Facebook page.

According to the latest estimates, more than 7,000 houses in Cordova were damaged while 1,500 houses were destroyed, according to Sitoy-Cho.

The mayor added that all boats of the town’s fishermen had been wrecked.

Sitoy-Cho also raised the problem of drinking water in the town, saying water refilling stations could not operate due to the lack of electricity after Odette downed the power lines.

She also said communication remained a problem due to the lack of a signal.

Garcia, who had brought food, water and generators with her from the Capitol, promised to send more generators to Cordova to provide power to water refilling stations and the Municipal Health Center where the Covid-19 vaccines are stored.

Last Dec. 23, Cordova gave canned goods and five kilos of rice to 870 fishermen whose boats had been destroyed by Typhoon Odette.

The PIO said the aid was given first to those who lost their homes and the fishermen who lost their boats but that all Cordovanhons would receive it.

Cordova has a population of 70,595, according to the 2020 census of the Philippine Statistics Authority.

On the same day, the municipality announced that it had purchased two generators for water refilling stations and that it would bring these, by schedule, to every barangay with a water refilling station.

On the restoration of power in Cordova, the local government unit informed its constituents Friday that its Sangguniang Bayan had invited the Mactan Electric Company (Meco) to its regular session last Dec. 27 to get an update on the electricity situation but that no Meco representative had attended.

Meco provides power to Lapu-Lapu City and Cordova on Mactan Island.

Last Dec. 19, Meco said around 60 percent of its assets had been damaged.

Meco has been posting regular updates on its power restoration efforts on its Facebook page, but it seems most, if not all, of the areas it has re-energized as of Dec. 31 are in Lapu-Lapu.

The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines already restored all power transmission lines connecting to Cebu distribution utilities, including Meco, before Christmas.

So it is now up to the distribution utilities to bring power back to households and offices.

As for communication, as of Dec. 31, Cordova was not among the towns in Cebu listed by Globe Telecom as having mobile services restored.

As of PLDT and Smart’s last Cebu network update on Dec. 29, Cordova was also not among the list of areas in the province where network service had been either partially or fully restored.

Last Dec. 21, Rodrigo Duterte declared a State of Calamity in six regions in the country severely affected by Typhoon Odette: Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao and Caraga. (CTL)

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