Typhoon Odette brought back ill memories of typhoons Yolanda and Sendong when they tore through the country at around the same time in 2013 and 2011, respectively.
Bohol Governor Arthur Yap, who saw his province flattened by the storm’s 195-kph winds and intense rain, said even their first responders — the police, military, and disaster risk reduction officers as well as their families – were victimized by Odette.
“Yung first responders mismo, biktima kaming lahat. So, this is Typhoon Haiyan [Yolanda] again,” the governor said — noting his own home was flooded up to the second floor, forcing his household members to climb to their rooftop.
Yap said they also monitored around 100 families trapped on roofs, and Bohol’s responders were trying to bring boats and rescue the affected residents.
He called on other first responders in Luzon to send their volunteers and help the victims in the province.
”Many people have seen many images of Bohol. It’s a very beautiful province with a lot of trees and now all of those trees are down on the roads and they’re blocking the way,” he added. “It’s very difficult. I cannot even assess at this point in time when we can get to the people we need to help.”
“Loboc River is still rising, and hundreds of families are trapped on rooftops right now. It has rained hard since Thursday afternoon. The wind was so strong,” Yap said.
On Twitter, many were reminded by the onslaught of Sendong, which hit the country over a decade ago.
“I just remembered way back December 16, 2011 when Sendong battered Mindanao and killed thousands of people. And now Odette made its first landfall in Siargao, on the exact same date when Sendong first made its landfall,” user @trexielou25 said.
“A decade ago, Sendong took 1,472 lives in (Cagayan de Oro), the same as the exact date of Odette’s landfall. I am hoping no life will perish from today’s calamity,” @aldreichlois tweeted Thursday.
Weather forecaster Benison Estareja of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration told CNN Philippines’ The Source how Odette differed from Yolanda and Sendong.
“Yolanda, as we all know, is a super typhoon. It had 225 kilometers per hour in peak intensity compared with Odette which recorded 195 kph,” he noted.
Estareja explained that Odette’s track was almost similar to that of Yolanda, but the latter had a wider eye, affecting more people.
He added that Sendong had a slower track when it traversed the country. Odette, on the other hand, recorded “heavy to intense” but short-lived rains.