New Bataan hardest-hit by 'Pablo'
MANILA, Philippines – The extent of the damage in New Bataan, Compostela Valley is becoming clear a day after it was battered by typhoon “Pablo”.
Scores have been killed while survivors are appealing for help.
The number of bodies piled up as the day rolled on: children, adults, all covered in mud.
Among those whose who died were 4 soldiers on patrol.
Eight others are still missing.
“Lumaki ‘yung usual na dating daanan ng tubig, malaking ilog na ngayon. ‘Yung mga dating bahay nawala na,” said Lt. Col. Antonio Florendo, battalion commander of the 66th Infantry Battalion.
Roads have become makeshift morgues where the dead are laid out and where mothers like Rochelle are looking for their missing children.
Others like Marlene Banes can still be considered lucky.
She has been reunited with her child after they got separated during the floods.
“Nasagaan kami ng mga puno ng niyog tapos ‘yung bahay namin natumba tapos nadala kami sa tubig. ‘Yung anak ko malayong-malayo na, buti nalang naligtas,” she said.
Melianito Barcelona is one of the survivors but he lost his wife as they were fleeing their home.
Strong winds knocked down a tree, which fell on her.
An 8-year-old child, meanwhile, was rescued after being buried under thick mud.
Hundreds of families are now staying at a gymnasium which serves as an evacuation center and hospital.
Another resident, Reynal, had to carry his cousin Julian from the other side of town to have him treated.
“Ang papa ko nasa ospital. Ang nanay ko at kuya ko nadala ng baha, ang huling siinabi ng mama ko, ‘I love you,’” said Julian.
New Bataan remains without power and water and food is running out.
“Sa ngayon, kailangan namin ngayon ng tubig at pagkain. Kung may mga medicine na maitulong sila, kailangan din namin ‘yan,” said New Bataan Mayor Lorenzo Balbin Jr.
While weather bureau PAGASA gave enough warnings, local officials admit they did not expect the simultaneous onslaught of strong winds and landslides.
Now, homes and schools are covered in mud, crops have been destroyed and there are many lives that will no longer be brought back. -- Reports from Jeff Canoy, and Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News; Rodirey Salas, ABS-CBN News Southern Mindanao; ANC