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From handwritten notes to sat phones, here's how Typhoon Odette survivors are letting their families know they're okay

By AYIE LICSI Published Dec 20, 2021 7:40 pm

As the Philippines deals with the aftermath of Typhoon Odette (international name Rai), several victims in affected areas in Visayas and Mindanao are still left without power or network signal, leaving them unable to communicate with others.

To let their families and friends know that they're okay amid the super typhoon, affected Filipinos have turned to alternative methods.

Letters from Dinagat Islands

Those in the ravaged Dinagat Islands have turned to writing letters to keep their loved ones updated as they're still dealing with power and signal outages. Governor Kaka Bag-ao gathered their hand-written letters and posted them on Facebook for all to see.

"Wala pa kuryente at signal sa Dinagat Islands... Naisip ko din bukod sa pormal na balita mula sa isla at para marinig ninyo mismo ang inyong mga mahal sa buhay, pinagawa ko sila lahat ng sulat para sa inyo," wrote Bag-ao.

"Pipilitin kong mai-post lahat ng matatanggap ko sa kada pagkakataong makalabas ako para sa mga patawag na mga meetings," she added.

"Ok pa ko," one of the letters read. Others similarly said that they are fine after Odette, even though their houses were rendered roofless.

Traveling for signal

For Palaweños, there's a Facebook group offering updates and news about those in the devastated area. According to the page, the sole working Globe tower is in Brgy. Napsan, allowing people from Puerto Princesa City proper like Father Eugene Elivera to share updates about the residents. 

Another user from Metro Manila posted about how their family from Brgy. San Jose in Puerto Princesa was able to reach them via satellite phone. There's still no power or means of communication in the barangay but sari-sari stores are open.

In Siargao, filmmaker Pepe Diokno traveled some ways, too, to get a bar of signal. From Burgos, Diokno and his companions intended to walk 44 km to Dapa Port—fortunately, a tricycle driver offered them a ride. After, they hired a boatman to take them to Hayanggabon Port and a van to Butuan.

"Thinking of the people back on the island. We have many friends there, both locals and tourists. Glad that visitors are starting to be evacuated so that more resources can go to the residents. And I hope that the north gets urgent attention," he wrote.

Relying on charging stations

Meanwhile, in Cebu where electricity is still out, people are going to different charging stations to keep their devices powered.

Aside from the lack of power and signal, the victims are also in need of water and well as access to cash. Those in Metro Cebu have also put up signs such as "No cash" on ATM machines and "Walay tubig," showing how they're faring after Odette.

Netizens from other affected areas such as Leyte and Bohol have posted about needing help on Facebook and Twitter. 

Find out ways you can donate to Typhoon Odette here