“It cannot be avoided. When the wind was blowing hard, we had to vacate and secure ourselves several times, running over the the slabs and felled structures,” said Inday Ledesma, a resident of Purok Maglupay, Poblacion village.
By JOHN RIZLE L. SALIGUMBA
CATEEL, Davao Oriental, Philippines — Cateel, one of the hardest-hit towns by Typhoon Pablo (International name: Bopha) in the province, badly needs anti-tetanus serums and other medical needs for the wounded victims.
“We estimate about 400 patients who have punctured wounds. We already noted two who have exhibited locked jaw,” said Elena Ramoza, municipal health staff in Cateel District Hospital on Saturday.
The typhoon on Tuesday shook the houses of residents and blew away their roofs and walls. It left woods with jutted out nails scattered all over town. Roofs, shattered glass and rusty nails punctured fleeing residents at the height of the typhoon’s wrath.
“It cannot be avoided. When the wind was blowing hard, we had to vacate and secure ourselves several times, running over the slabs and felled structures,” said Inday Ledesma, a resident of Purok Maglupay, Poblacion village.
Many patients were also brought to the Cateel hospital because of lacerated wounds caused by G.I. sheets and other debris.
“We need more needles and sutures,” lamented Ramoza.
The town recorded 682 injured individuals as of Saturday morning.
Rosa Dolosa, also a resident of Purok Maglupay, said she’s been asking neighbors for medicines that will stop diarrhea.
“Nangita kog tambal para sa akong mga anak kay nakainom silag tubig sa lahi nga source (I’ve been looking for medicines for my children. They have drank water from an unsafe source),” Dolosa said.
Lisa Turoba, 51, said that she has been with fever right after the typhoon hit them.
“Gikan pa niadto gikalintura nako, pero wala lang nako ginatagad,” she said.
Some pharmacies in the town are open but Dolosa, like many residents here, can hardly pay for even a tablet of paracetamol following the devastation brought about by Typhoon Pablo.
The hospital staff has noted that one of their problems is access to potable water.
As of 9 AM Saturday, only two intravenous fluid bottles were available at the hospital. Authorities are awaiting supplies from the Red Cross.
As of Saturday, 129 bodies were recovered, two of whom were only found at 9 AM today inside the collapsed Cateel Elementary School Building. About 54 individuals are still missing.
The town’s district hospital is one of the many buildings destroyed by typhoon Pablo. Though its roof was also damaged by Pablo, it is still being used to house the increasing number of victims. A building opposite the hospital which has no walls also housed several patients.
Thousands of resident here are also suffering from hunger as the food and other supplies run out.
According to Maria Theresa Obatonon, the municipal operations officer, available relief goods “are only good for one day.” (John Rizle L. Saligumba/davaotoday.com)