Boracay Island still recovering from Typhoon Ursula

AKLAN, Philippines – Over a week after Typhoon Ursula (Phanfone) swept through Central and Eastern Visayas on Christmas Day, Boracay Island is still beset by 3 major problems – power outages, uncollected garbage and limited fuel supply.

Acting Malay town mayor Frolibar Bautista said the tourist resort island was in "recovery mode," adding they were also rebuilding the homes damaged by the typhoon.

Bautista acknowledged the cooperation among government officials, organizations, and stakeholders.

He said tree branches, leaves and household garbage were piled up in beach fronts and main roads because of the limited number of garbage trucks. Most of the trash were not collected since the recent holidays.

Trucks of private haulers have been hired to help the private garbage company collect in areas heavily impacted by Typhoon Ursula in Boracay.

Volunteers and municipal government employees were also mobilized to remove tons of trash from beaches.

Nagtambak ang basura at debris itong bagyo at New Year. Nakipag-usap tayo sa mga private haulers sa paghakot ng mga basura at mga kahoy na nasira ng Typhoon Ursula. Mahirap gumalaw ang mga tao dahil hindi pa totally na-restore ang kuryente sa isla. May power sa Caticlan ngunit mula Sambiray papuntang Dumlog, walang kuryente,” the acting mayor said on January 3, Friday.

(The garbage were not collected since the typhoon and New Year. We have tapped private haulers to collect the garbage and debris. The public is also affected because of the limited electric supply in the island. There is electricity coming from Caticlan. But there is none from Sambiray going to Dumlog.)

Because of the situation, residents and establishments have been using power generator sets and candles since Christmas Day.

In its advisory, the Malay municipal government said it was coordinating with gasoline stations to make sure that petroleum supply in the island would be enough for the daily needs of motorists, small businesses and residents. Generator sets are fueled by gasoline or diesel.

May mga resorts at hotels na ang nagdadala ng krudo papunta sa isla dahil hindi kaya ng mga gasoline stations ang demand dito,” Bautista said.

(Some resorts and hotels have resorted to bringing their own fuel to the island because the gasoline stations cope with the demand.)

In Malay, the typhoon partially destroyed 4,300 houses and totally damaged 600. At least 29 persons were also reported injured. (READ: Ursula leaves at least 4 dead, 51 injured in Aklan)

ROUND THE CLOCK. Linemen of Aklan Electric Cooperative (AKELCO) Task Force Kapatid-Ursula at work. Photo by AKELCO

ROUND THE CLOCK. Linemen of Aklan Electric Cooperative (AKELCO) Task Force Kapatid-Ursula at work.

Photo by AKELCO

Meanwhile, the Aklan Electric Cooperative (Akelco) formed Task Force Kapatid-Ursula which had linemen working round the clock to repair downed poles and lines  in 17 municipalities of Aklan, Pandan and Libertad in Antique and a sitio in Capiz.

Akelco's franchise area experienced widespread power outage after Typhoon Ursula crippled the province of Aklan on December 25, and left about 143,000 member-consumers without power.

Akelco sought the help of sister electric cooperatives in Panay Island and Mindanao for immediate clearing operations and restoring power in 380 barangays of northern Antique and Aklan.

Power is back in some areas of Boracay (Balabag and Manocmanoc) and Caticlan in Malay, and poblacion areas and nearby barangays of the capital town of Kalibo, New Washington, Altavas, Balete, Batan, Banga, Libacao, Numancia, Lezo, Malinao, Makato, Tangalan, Ibajay and Nabas.

Akelco general manager Alexis Regalado said the cooperative is asking the member-consumers during this time especially in hard-hit rural communities to bear with the power outage.

Regalado said linemen from Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental and Misamis Oriental electric cooperatives have augmented Task Force Kapatid aside from personnel of Antique, Zamboanga del Norte and Iloilo. – Rappler.com