Clearing operations ongoing in typhoon-hit Isabela

CAGAYAN, Philippines – The Isabela provincial government is now focused on clearing operations after the onslaught of Typhoon Rosita (Yutu), to allow relief operations to proceed.

In a phone interview, Isabela provincial government spokesperson Jessie James Geronimo said Governor Faustino Dy III instructed disaster response teams to clear roads of debris.

"The weather was still stormy when Governor Dy ordered clearing so as not to delay relief operations," Geronimo said in a mix of Filipino and English.

Isabela bore the brunt of Rosita on Tuesday, October 30, following the typhoon's landfall in the coastal town of Dinapigue.

The clearing teams include personnel from the provincial disaster management agency, Bureau of Fire Protection, Department of Public Works and Highways, Philippine Army, and Philippine National Police.

The whole stretch of Isabela, from Cordon town in the south to San Pablo town in the north, are undergoing clearing operations, Geronimo said.

In their initial assessment, the towns of Alicia and Echague sustained the most damage, as evident from the debris and toppled electric posts.

ABS-CBN News earlier reported that Dinapigue remained isolated as of Tuesday morning.

This report, however, is still being verified, according to Geronimo, who said the coastal town could only be reached through roads in nearby Aurora province.

"The coastal town of Dinapigue is usually isolated from the rest of [the] towns in Isabela. But we'll verify that report," he said.

There were no immediate reports of deaths, injuries, or missing persons. – Rappler.com