#BangonSipalay trends; death toll rises to 21

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The hashtag #BangonSipalay trended on social media yesterday as relatives of Sipalaynons scrambled to reach their families affected by typhoon Odette that killed at least 21 individuals.

With mobile communication down across Sipalay and neighboring towns and cities as of yesterday, December 18, families waiting for update had no choice but only to rely on the slow information made available on various social media channels of the local media and from the government.

In an update posted by Sipalay City Tourism Office on its Facebook page it said: “Sipalay City is one of the most badly hit LGUs in Negros Occidental by Typhoon Odette.”

Footages shared on social media showed massive devastation within the city, which is roughly 5 hours drive from Bacolod.

Aside from unavailability of telcom services, power was also cut-off as power providers check on the extent of damage to power lines.

As the local government scrambled for help, the tourism office advise tourists to contact their resorts / hotel ahead of time before they finalize their trip because almost all of the establishments are damaged and signal is very limited.

Congresswoman Mercedes Alvarez is saddened with the numerous homes that were destroyed, businesses ruined, lives lost and some persons are reported still missing.

Alvarez said her office will continue to send relief and lobby for more assistance in what she described a hard December that they will remember.

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