Many young people at ADDU have told me that Typhoon Pablo was the first time they’d ever experienced a typhoon. It was Signal 2 in Davao City and Signal 3 in Samal. Bottom line, however, is: most in Davao City were left unscathed.
The media however has carried heart-rending images of suffering and devastation in the wake of Typhoon Pablo in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental. I uploaded some pics taken by Vinci Bueza, Nikki Ayubo and Brent Jimenez from Comval in Facebook. A video is in the making. Yesterday, already in Carmen, Davao del Norte, people could be seen in makeshift tents on the side of the highway. They were escaping floods which had inundated their rice fields and their homes – and crocodiles, which their area is known for.
Passing Tagum, our media team noted its river had overflowed its banks. Huge banana plantations were flattened.
Entering Compostela Valley, they saw uprooted trees and houses bereft of their roofs. Hundreds of families are in evacuation centers or simple tents. In Mawab, Sr. Lolita Llaso, OP, pointed to the lost rooftops of Assumption Academy of Mawab. But even she said the team should not waste time there, since the damage was far greater in the Municipality of Compostela. Their fear, however, was the embankments of Lake Leonard in Maco would burst, causing its waters to swell the Hijo and Mawab rivers, to bring unimaginable flooding.
Entering the Municipality of Compostela was like entering a warzone, its hectares and hectares of banana and fruit trees flattened. Even concrete houses were demolished. The GI-sheets of a warehouse for rice were strewn over the fields, its trusses and beams twisted grotesquely. The Assumption Academy of Compostela was 80% destroyed. Its newly built-gymnasium lost its roof. Library books were totally obliterated. Computers and sewing machines had been inundated by waist-high floods. All the school’s administrative records are gone. The convent of Sr. Erlinda Factura, FMA, was similarly destroyed. There, the floods were neck high. Only rooms on the second floor could still be used to provide emergency shelter for teachers. CRs however were not functioning. People there have no food. No potable water. No signal. Electricity is expected to return after at least two months.
The sisters showed that in the surrounding community a block of houses of poor dwellers had just disappeared. Adjacent to a school was a chapel with five dead.
I posted the images the team took in my FB account. They will also be posted in the DACS webpage (www.dacsph.org).
Our social worker/ field worker of the Arrupe Office of Social Formation, Karl Ebol, has just returned from ComVal and Davao del Norte. He reports that the main problem is to get relief goods to the people in Boston, Cateel, Baganga, and Caraga, where destroyed roads and bridges have cut people and communities off from normal transportation. Choppers cannot land. Airdrops are too dangerous. At the moment, efforts are being exerted to reach them with small boats coming from Mati southwards of them. Our Center of Psychological Extention and Research Services (COPERS) people and our social workers however are already present there, with Dr. Gail Ilagan and her team doing disaster debriefing work.
Reports from DACS is that there is very heavy damage to schools in these areas.
Of great concern is that many from our own ADDU community who come from these areas have not yet heard from their relatives.
In this context, in the service of our suffering Mindanaoans and in response to the need of our own DACS schools, UCEAC and its volunteers have been doing all they can to provide assistance. I wish to thank them for this.
Our Fr. General, on his own initiative, has donated Euros 20,000 to this effort, and Ateneo de Manila has sent us PHP 500,000. Others have already been sending us money.
Perhaps, from among our friends and supporters who are still privileged to experience bounty in this Christmas Season, it might be possible to share of their bounty with those who are in genuine need.
For donations to victims of Typhoon Pablo in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley, send your donations to the following dedicated accounts:
ADDU – PABLO RELIEF
BPI Acct. No. 2513-00185-4
SWIFT CODE: BOPIPHMM
ADDU – PABLO RELIEF
BDO Acct No. 27000-227-278
SWIFT CODE: BNORPHMM