Tuguegarao City councilor: We didn’t expect ‘Ulysses’ to be catastrophic

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Aerial photo shows the aftermath of Typhoon Ulysses along Cagayan Valley on Nov. 15. (SOURCE: Ace Moradante/Presidential Photo/Presidential Communications Operations Office)

Residents in Cagayan and Isabela were left displaced and distraught after Typhoon Vamco (Philippine name: Ulysses) slammed into the two provinces and inundated their communities.

Tuguegarao City councilor Marjorie Martin Chan said in an interview with Hong Kong News that they did what they could to prepare for the typhoon, but they did not expect that it would be this catastrophic.

“The water went up so fast. It’s unprecedented how the way the water rose,” she said.

She added that the volume of water released by the Magat Dam also contributed to the flooding. The National Irrigation Administration said Sunday it had advised residents in Isabela and Cagayan of the impending water release two days before.

The councilor also said there have been three deaths, 45 affected barangays, and 100,000 displaced individuals.

Cagayan resident Rozelene May Siazon told Hong Kong News how distraught she was that her hometown Tuguegarao had been pummeled and paralyzed by the typhoon.

“It’s really sad to see and very shocking. This time it’s really different, kasi some places na hindi nababaha before talagang nabaha ngayon [because some places that didn’t get flooded before are flooded now],” said Rozalene.

#CagayanNeedsHelp and #IsabelaNeedsHelp trended on social media after netizens appealed to the government and citizens to assist those who have been stranded in their homes since the typhoon hit.

In the wake of the typhoon’s onslaught, government officials conducted search and rescue operations for families still stuck on their rooftops.

On Nov. 12, Ulysses battered various parts of Luzon. It caused flooding and landslides that left at least 67 people dead, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.