'ODETTE' AFTERMATH. At least 51 people were reported dead after the onslaught of Typhoon Odette in Negros Oriental on Dec. 16, 2021. The Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office reported on Monday (Dec. 20, 2021) that clearing operations are ongoing in areas badly hit by the typhoon although major roads are now passable. (Photo courtesy of Fr. Conrad Legarde)

DUMAGUETE CITY – At least 51 people were reported dead, 26 are missing, and 76 were injured in Negros Oriental as of Monday's data due to the onslaught of Typhoon Odette on Dec. 16.

Provincial police director Col. Germano Mallari told the Philippine News Agency that rescuers from different government agencies and the civilian sector are conducting clearing, relief, and retrieval operations round the clock.

The deaths were reported in Bais City, 12; Manjuyod, 10; Bindoy, nine; Mabinay, five; Guihulngan City, three; Bayawan City, Dauin, Jimalalud, and Tayasan with two each; and Bacong, Dumaguete City, Canlaon City, and Tanjay City with one each.

The missing persons are from Bais City, 19; Mabinay, four; and Manjuyod, three.

The injured persons are from Tayasan, 18; Manjuyod, 16; Bais City, 15; Bindoy, 14; San Jose, and Mabinay with three each; Ayungon and Canlaon City with two each; and Tanjay City, Bacong, and Jimalalud with one each.

The common causes of death were felled trees, flash floods, and drowning, Mallari said.

“We are still working to get more information from the ground considering that for days, the province experienced a power outage and all the telcos were down. Even our communication system was affected but we are doing our best as we have deployed more police personnel to the badly hit areas,” he said.

The central and northern portions of Negros Oriental were the worst hit by the typhoon, with hundreds of families left homeless. The local government units are working to provide temporary shelter and basic necessities to the displaced.

Starting on the early evening of Dec. 16, the province plunged into darkness, and power was 80 percent restored in this capital city beginning on Sunday. The towns and cities in the central and northern parts of the province, however, still have no power to date.

Other areas with electricity include Sibulan, 80 percent; Valencia, 30 percent; and Bacong, 35 percent.

All major roads are now passable except the one from Bais City to Mabinay due to landslides, Mallari said.

Clearing operations are being conducted by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Michelle Visera, corporate communications officer of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) in the Visayas, said hundreds of poles were toppled by the typhoon in Negros Oriental alone.

NGCP cannot give an exact estimate as to how soon the power will be fully restored in the province.

Telco and internet companies continue to be unstable. (PNA)