NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
Fifty-one Boholanos perished in the worst typhoon to hit the province in recent years that devastated millions worth of infrastructure and agricultural crops as super typhoon “Odette” cut across the province Thursday night till Friday dawn.
The partial list of fatalities debunked reports in the (Bohol Monitor) FB account that 65 died in Ubay town alone.
Packing center winds of 255 kph with Storm Signal No 4 hoisted over Bohol, the fury of the devastating typhoon plunged the province into total darkness as power blackout is experienced and expected to last for a month after thousands of electric posts were toppled down in all the 47 towns, including Tagbilaran City.
As of 9:30 last night, affected residents accommodated at the various evacuation centers rose to 67,304 individuals , 746 families coming from 35 towns and the capital city of Tagbilaran.
Worst hit were the towns of Ubay, Talibon and the island municipality of Pres Garcia while severe flooding was reported in several towns including Loboc and Inabanga towns.
The partial list of 51 casualties were confirmed last night by Gov. Art Yap after conducting a town sortie in the badly hit municipalities while conducting an aerial inspection on board a Philippine Airforce chopper deployed by the PA Visayas Command.
Until presstime last night, the provincial government had not issued estimated cost of damages as inventories were still being conducted.
Gov Yap signed Executive Order 65 which declared Bohol under a state of calamity thereby allowing the provincial government to be able to release funding for relief assistance to the calamity victims.
Of the casualties, Ubay town registered the most number with eight followed by Pres Garcia and Loon with five each; Inabanga and Catigbian,four each; Valencia, Tubigon, Alicia, three each; Batuan, Antequera, Maribojoc,Calape, Jagna and Clarin with two each; Pilar, Talibon, Loboc and Candijay with one each.
Rep Aris Aumentado who made a thorough check in his district reported 11 deaths in Ubay, Buenavista, 4, Bien Unido,2; Trinidad, 1;Getafe , 4;
Of the 51 fatalities, nine were identified to the Chronicle as of last night: (Loon) Jacinta Ayencia, 94; Jane Pilio, 6; Migue Cadanio, 62 and Bernadette Pocong, 54; (Maribojoc) Veronico Alderite, 76; Gregoria Recmara, 40; (Loboc) Eufracia Maceren, 84; (Calape) Anastacio Dano, 78 and (Clarin) Nahawan Barangay Captain Ramon Curbeta.
The two-hour fury of typhoon “Odette” was the longest span of time that a weather disturbance could be felt in a given area.as the howler was moving at a low speed of 20-25 kms per hour.
Heavy flooding hit Loboc town where floodwaters reached the rooftops of some residences beside the famous Loboc River.
Loboc Mayor Leon Calipusan reported to the Chronicle that the volume of the water came from uptown of Carmen town and not from the mini power-plant in Sevilla town like before.
Leonard Samar of the PAG-ASA Radar Station in Albuquerque town reported in his forecast during the marathon radio coverage over station DYRD and Kiss 102.3FM, the typhoon will be in the vicinity of Cebu province by 11 o’clock in the evening. However, even until Thursday 3:00 am the strength of the typhoon was still felt in most parts of the province.
From Siargao, Surigao the typhoon entered Candijay-Mabini area and exited in Ubay area before reaching Cebu which was also devastated by the super typhoon.
The super typhoon started to be felt at 6 o’clock Thursday early evening in Candijay area while on her exit from the province, strong winds and heavy rains were experienced in Tagbilaran City up to 4 o’clock Friday dawn.
PAG-ASA said the fury of “Odette” was felt in the entire province as its radius was so wide that even if the eye of the typhoon was already in Cebu, its tail end movement was still in the coastal areas of the province.
The death count is expected to rise as reports from the towns came so slow due to the damaged communication linkages including Globe while a province-wide power blackout will continue to be experienced during the next weeks (Read separate story).