Despite of the fury unleashed by super Typhoon Odette late Thursday evening until the wee hours of Friday, no fatalities were reported nor injuries inflicted on Bacolodnons were recorded.
We thank the good Lord Almighty for sparing our people from such harm.
We also saw that our decision to assert the conduct of pre-emptive evacuations of families living in high risk areas such as low-lying communities and along shorelines and near bodies of water, saved lives. It was the first time that we evacuated this many pre-emptively in the wake of a typhoon.
We, however, call for prayers for our neighboring local government units hardest hit by the storm, particularly those in the central and southern parts of our province.
Most of the 1,220 families or, close to 5,000 individuals (as of 6 a.m., Friday), that we transferred earlier on Thursday to the different evacuation centers, have already returned to their respective homes. They start anew the day after the calamity. Some of them lost their homes. Others suffered damages. I have ordered the DSSD and other offices working for disaster response to make an assessment soonest so that your LGU would be able to respond accordingly.
With the help of Dr. Anna Maria Laarni Pornan, our City DRRMO head, and Executive Assistant Joemarie Vargas, I was able to also give updates to our residents and inform other stakeholders, as we responded to live media interviews with radio networks still rendering situationer reports even at 4 a.m. of Friday. We are, therefore, thanking the media for their steadfast commitment to keep Bacolodnons informed round the clock about the latest on Typhoon Odette.
We have many individuals and organizations to be thankful for: Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran and the City Council, the leadership of the City DRRMO and their partner-rescue agencies as well as the DSSD, other city government offices, the barangay captains and their BDRRMCs, day care workers, the KALAHI staff, Amity, the Filipino-Chinese Chamber volunteers, the Department of Education, Central Negros Electric Cooperative, the Philippine National Police through our Bacolod City Police Office, the Philippines Coast Guard and the Bureau of Fire Protection, among others, for working day and night.
Sa inyo tanan, hilabi na sa aton mga “prayer warriors” kag sa kooperasyon sang aton pumuluyo, madamo gid nga salamat.
God bless everyone.
ATTY. EVELIO R. LEONARDIA
City of Bacolod