Letters from Survivors: Odette's Victims Pen Hopeful Notes on Paper
In handwritten notes posted by their governor on Facebook on Monday, survivors of Typhoon Odette (Rai) assured their kin that they had survived the monster storm.
Odette, the strongest storm of 2021 that has drawn comparisons with Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) has cut off communications, power, and running water in large swaths of the Visayas and Northern Mindanao, with the death toll crossing the 200-mark.
In one of the letters posted by Dinagat Governor Arlene Bag-ao, Aimee Antonio-Jimano told her sister Janet that their families on the island are "all fine and we are happy to be alive after Odette."
"Our houses are roofless but we are NOT hopeless," she told her sister.
"Dear parents, Pao, Toffee, please stop worrying about me. I'm fine, " Dr. Jillian Francise Lee wrote in a prescription pad addressed to her loved ones in Quezon City.
Another resident, Reymond Gonzales, told a certain Anele he was okay. "Ga, ok pa ko. Diri na lang ta mag-Xmas."
Bag-ao said she would post more letters from the residents on her account.
"Naisip ko din bukod sa pormal na balita mula sa isla at para marinig ninyo mismo ang inyong mga mahal sa buhay, pinagawa ko sila lahat ng sulat para sa inyo," she said.
Drone footage from the Philippine Navy showed the damage wrought by Odette in Dinagat, where monster winds uprooted trees and tore off roofs.
Bag-ao said the damage was "reminiscent if not worse" than that caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013.
The death toll in the islands due to Odette has climbed to 14, Dinagat provincial information officer Jeff Crisostomo told ANC on Monday.
"Ingat mga mahal kong Dinagatnon... Nalagpasan natin ang bagyo dahil sama-sama tayong naghanda. Sigurado akong sabay-sabay nating malulutas ang mga hamon paglayas ni Odette!!!" Bag-ao told her constituents.
This story originally appeared on Reportr.World. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.