Death toll in Central Visayas due to ‘Odette’ climbs to 291

·3 min read

A TOTAL of 291 people have been reported killed in Central Visayas due to Typhoon Odette (Rai), the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (Opav) revealed Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022.

This figure is much higher than the 220 deaths the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported for the region as of Dec. 30.

The Opav listed the casualty count as part of its report on the status of relief operations in the Visayas as of Jan. 3, 2022, which also showed the region receiving at least P245 million worth of relief assistance so far.

According to the Opav, the bulk of the 291 casualties were in Bohol, 109; followed by the whole Cebu, 105; and Negros Oriental, 77.

The casualties in Cebu came from Cebu Province, 69; Cebu City, 17; Mandaue City, 10; and Lapu-Lapu City, 9.

A total of 3,035,613 people, or more than a third of the 8,081,988 population of Central Visayas, was affected by Odette.

A whopping 946,143 families were affected after the typhoon damaged 474,970 houses, destroyed 172,154 houses and caused P733.33 million worth of damage to agriculture, among other troubles.

In its relief operations report, the Opav said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7 had sent 161,811 family food packs (FFPs) worth P85.76 million, of which Bohol received the bulk at 73,241 family food packs, followed by Cebu with 57,397 FFPs and Negros Oriental with 31,173 FFPs.

There had been no requests for food packs from Siquijor.

The family food packs in Cebu went to Argao (more than 15,000), Lapu-Lapu City (more than 10,000), Cebu City (more than 5,000), and to the following towns and cities (more than 1,000 each): Carcar City, Minglanilla, Naga City, San Fernando, Sibonga, Talisay City, Boljoon, Dalaguete, Balamban, Barili, Cordova, Dumanjug, Moalboal and Ronda.

Cebu also received non-food items, in particular hygiene kits, valued at P2.521 million, while Bohol received non-food items worth P67,300 in the form of malong, modular tents, cauldrons, frying pans, ladles, water dippers and hygiene kits, the DSWD 7 specified in its own report.

Additionally, the DSWD 7 gave 497 beneficiaries in four cities and towns in Negros Oriental P5,000 each, or a total of P2.485 million in cash aid under the agency’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation intended to enable the marginalized and vulnerable individuals to have access to basic services.

Under the National Housing Authority (NHA) Special Emergency Housing Assistance Program, a total of P155 million has also been released to help families whose houses were either damaged or destroyed by Odette, the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines in 2021.

SunStar Cebu reported Monday that in Cebu, the highly urbanized cities of Lapu-Lapu City received P25 million; Mandaue City, P17.5 million; and Cebu City, P10 million.

The Opav report showed that Bohol Province received P55 million while Negros Oriental received P27.5 million.

At noon Tuesday, the NHA 7 announced separately that it had turned over a P20 million check to the Provincial Government of Cebu under the same program in which the housing agency provides P5,000 to each beneficiary-family to help them rebuild their house, regardless of the extent of the damage sustained.

Typhoon Odette slammed into Central Visayas on Dec. 16.

Twenty days after the storm, power and water supply have yet to be restored in many areas in the region. / CTL

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