• By The Financial District


Albay and Catanduanes incurred the heaviest damage during the onslaught of Super Typhoon Rolly on Sunday, the chief of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Monday.

"The Bicol area, or at least two provinces of the Bicol area are probably the hardest hit, Catanduanes and Albay. Based on unofficial information, there is widespread damage in agriculture, a lot of houses were destroyed. Those are mainly the damages along with roads and bridges," NDRRMC executive director Ricardo Jalad said in a press briefing.

He added that damage assessment from the typhoon under way although focus is on helping the victims.

He said an Office of Civil Defense emergency telecommunications team will be deployed along with their very small aperture terminal (VSAT) equipment to Catanduanes via Philippine Coast Guard BN Island aircraft to establish a satellite and data communications network to address communication problems in the province.

In the same briefing, Jalad said 'Rolly' has "exposed" a total of 12 regions and "affected" 372,653 families or 2,068,085 individuals.

Aside from Bicol, the typhoon has affected the regions of Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), and the National Capital Region (NCR).

Jalad said 108,555 families, or equivalent to 389,867 persons residing in NCR, CAR, Region 3, Calabarzon, Bicol, and Eastern Visayas were preemptively evacuated due to the typhoon.

The NDRRMC has yet to give a breakdown of the typhoon's casualties.

In a separate message, NDRRMC spokesperson Mark Cashean Timbal said communication link has been restored in Catanduanes.

"Communication link has been reestablished in Catanduanes as of 11:30 a.m. with the successful arrival and set-up of comms equipment by the OCD Rapid Emergency Telecommunications Team," he added.