Current News In Cebu Philippines – Damaged Damage to infrastructure and utilities after typhoon Odette in Cebu City on December 18, 2021.
In the days after Typhoon Cebu City, we saw Cebuanos themselves, not the local government or politicians, working to clean up and restore order in the city.
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CEBU CITY, Philippines – On December 17, 2021, everything was chaotic after typhoon Odette devastated Queen Cebu City.
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I slept rough last night because strong winds shook the four-story apartment building I live in. Then the transformer explodes and everything goes black. There was a noise outside, but it was hard not to see anything.
Windows is broken. Rusty metal sheets on the roof clattered like cymbals. The wind howled in unison with the street animals.
I am no stranger to hurricanes and tropical storms. Why Odette is no ordinary storm.
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Around ten o’clock in the morning, John Sichon, our reporter from a nearby village, arrived on a motorcycle. Soon after, we decided to go out and see the city for ourselves.
Without GPS, it was difficult to know what awaited us at the next turn. A downed power pole? A sign of avoiding fast food? Debris from destroyed houses?
The general mood was lawless. No theft. Cebuanos waited in line at convenience stores, supermarkets and gas stations after they opened. They protected the water supply.
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The first post-storm food we found was canned tuna, skyflakes, and cookies from the nearest 7-11 that had dared to open after the storm.
A Category 4 storm was reported a day before landfall, but no major broadcaster clarified the severity of the situation. We can thank the President and his Congress for renewing the ABS-CBN franchise.
Most Cebuanos are not old enough to remember the last time Cebu was hit by a typhoon of this magnitude.
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According to residents, Cebu was last hit by typhoons in 1984 (Typhoon Netang) and 1990 (Typhoon Taifeng).
Former Cebu City Mayor Tommy Osmeña has often referred to Roping as a destructive force, teaching that Cebu cannot rely on the national government to survive or thrive after the destruction.
According to Osmeña’s recollection, the national government led by then President Corazon Aquino only gave Cebu P1 million at that time.
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This is the history of the famous Cebuano “adventure”. At the root of this distrust of the central government is the government that has failed to provide for people outside its beloved capital region.
It didn’t take long for the Cebuanos to realize that they were the only people they could depend on.
Those who had water gave it to those who did not have water. Those with generators provided space to charge other people’s devices. People shared with each other where to find the best LTE signal in the city. They shared information about gas stations and helped those who had difficulty accessing them for other needs.
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But our observation is limited to the major cities of Cebu. We are only beginning to understand the damage and human suffering caused by hurricanes in other provinces and territories.
Our reporter Lorraine Ekarma was the first to assess the damage in the rural areas of the southern towns of Odette province near Karkar’s land.
On a typical day, he can ride his motorcycle to the provincial capital, where Governor Gwen Garcia is in office. It only takes a few minutes.
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“What would normally be a five-minute bike ride from my house turned into an hour’s walk,” Lorraine said.
“It was hard to distinguish one town from another because all the scenes were the same: houses, mud schools, trees and lamps built like dismembered bodies on the side of the road,” says Lorraine. “Several times we opened the windows of the media van, desperate residents screaming for help. We drove into the capital. “They must have thought we were government employees.”
In an interview with our reporter, Edgar Recuracion said that he lives in abandoned areas because he does not expect the storm to be strong.
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He also spoke to a small town in the south, cut off from the rest of the province, who worried they might not survive until more help arrived.
Life slowed down in the days after Odette. Simple mistakes that used to take minutes, like getting gas, buying groceries, or withdrawing cash, now take many people hours.
Texting apps or calling are still impossible for Cebuanos living in areas where power or cell signal has not been restored.
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It’s been a week and we still don’t have a complete picture of how much destruction Odette has caused in the region.
As of Monday, December 27, the death toll in Cebu has reached 96. Not all towns reported casualties. The number of missing and dead is increasing.
While things are looking up in some parts of the city, the story is far from over. Thousands of people in the affected areas are still recovering.
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Why weren’t we ready? Why does help take so long? How many people were injured? These are the questions we ask.
But one thing is certain: although the Queen City and the island provinces have been beaten, they have not been defeated.
Cebuanos are used to helping themselves. History has proven time and time again that Cebuanos can achieve success with or without the help of competent administration. — With reporting by John Cichon and Lorraine Ekarma/
Typhoon Odette In Cebu: Queen City In Ruins
Ryan includes social welfare. He started as a social media producer in 2013 and later took on various roles for the company: #BalikBayan segment editor, reporter in Cebu and general assignment reporter in the Visayas region. He is a graduate of California State University East Bay with a degree in international studies and a minor in political science. Outside of work, Ryan performs spoken word poetry and attends local music festivals. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmacasero or guide stories at ryan.macasero@ your international guide if you are entering the country via Cebu. This guide will be updated regularly based on the published decisions and agreements of the Philippine government.
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