by Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN News
The aftermath of Typhoon Nina (also known as Nock-ten) in the Philippines has left 6 dead and 19 missing, while thousands of kababayans are without power and telecommunication.
Thousands of Bicolanos fled their homes to evacuation centers on Christmas Day, as Nina sustained winds of 185 kilometers per hour. Gusts up to 255 kilometers per hour overturned trucks along major highways.
Fierce winds and heavy rainfall knocked down power lines and telecommunications, leaving Bicolano families in the U.S. worried about their loved ones back home.
Jessie Espares, a native of Nabua Camarines Sur says, that he’s been trying to call his family for two days, but still can’t get through.
“Sa ngayon nag aala pa rin ako, kase di ko pa rin nakikita yung, damaged ng bahay ko kung mayroon. Yung mga kapitbahay yung residente ng Nabua,” Espares said.
“Siempre kase may mga kapatid mga kamag anak. Hindi namin alam a ngayon ang balita sa amin walang signal dun sa Nabua, nag aalala kami hindi namin sila ma contact kung ano talaga ang mga nangyayari,” said Dan Espares, another Bicolano. “It’s very sad, kase yung nakikita ko sa video sa pictures sobra yung nangyayaring kalamidad sa ating bayan.”
Government officials officially declared the provinces in Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, and Albay as under a state of calamity.
“Not even social media, I cannot get a hold of them… I don’t know if they’re okay,” said Kristin Hernandez Miller, another family member. “I just hope that everyone there is okay… sana naman, you get electricity so we can get in touch with you before the new year.”
Meanwhile, Philippine Vice President Lennie Robredo — who hails from Bicol — was in the U.S. over the holidays when Typhoon Nina struck.
The vice president’s office said in a statement that Robredo had been actively monitoring and directing her office to work with regional officials, setting up relief centers for immediate emergency response on the ground.
She flew back to the Philippines on Monday.