BY MDNN NEWS TEAM
The lack of potable water in the typhoon-hit island of Siargao in Caraga Region left seven people dead and 120 others in a hospital due to severe diarrhea.
Governor Francisco Matugas of Surigao del Norte said the diarrhea outbreak in the island has caused the Siargao District Hospital to be overwhelmed with patients.
“The local government is having a hard time getting safe drinking water because of the limited number of ferries and boats that travel from Surigao City to the island,” Matugas said.
Siargao still had no power supply one week after Typhoon Odette hit the island and Matugas said residents don’t have access to water refilling stations, majority of which were damaged by the typhoon.
He said two of the island’s water refilling stations are back in operation but he claimed they cannot keep up with the demand of the island’s 20,000 families.
With this, the governor is calling for donations, particularly medicines and intravenous fluids (IV), to help the patients now being admitted at the Siargao District Hospital.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III assured that swift provision of necessary assistance and health services are now being given to typhoon-affected residents.
“I have already instructed all regional directors of the affected regions to use their quick response funds as soon as possible,” Duque said.
On Monday, the Department of Health (DOH) reported that two hospitals, three barangay health stations, and one provincial health office in Caraga Region were damaged by the typhoon.
Typhoon Odette made its first landfall in Siargao Island on Dec. 16 at 1:30pm, causing massive damages to power poles, buildings, houses and other infrastructures.
Siargao, Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands, all located in Caraga Region, are still without electricity and communication lines, including the province of Bohol in the Visayas.
Department of Energy spokesperson Felix Fuentebella said restoration of power in these severely-affected areas will still take time, going over even after Christmas.
“It would be challenging for power to be restored in these four areas by the end of the year,” Fuentebella said, citing difficulties in transportation and road blockages from uprooted trees and toppled power poles that hampered their restoration efforts.
As of Friday, Dec. 24, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that 326 people have died, 661 were injured and 58 went missing due to Typhoon Odette.
The NDRRMC said 14 of the confirmed fatalities were in Bohol, Palawan, Bukidnon, Iloilo, Guimaras, Negros Occidental, Southern Leyte and Misamis Oriental. Drowning, falling trees and debris were cited as the cause of their death.