TYPHOON EMONG AFTERMATH: Bolinao is ghost town

May 13, 2009 at 8:50 am 1 comment

bolinao1BOLINAO – This premier tourism town turned into a “ghost town” after the devastation wrought by typhoon Emong which felled electrical power and communication lines and plunging the town into darkness.

Emong toppled down trees, destroyed 90 percent of houses, blew away roofs of buildings including the church’s and resorts’, and sank all fish cages.

At night time, residents make do with candlelight as they huddle in the wreckage of what used to be their homes. Telephone lines are still down and mobile phone owners desperately look for places like the town hall, which has generators, to charge their batteries.

Power outage also means no water for most houses and resorts as pumps are operated by electrical power.

This town at the northwestern tip of Pangasinan boasts of beaches facing the Lingayen Gulf and the South China Sea.

Resorts from low-end to high-end are located along the coastal areas, right in the path of typhoon Emong on Thursday.

Former Mayor Jesus Celeste said he had no information yet about damages on the resorts as the barangay roads were still not passable except by motorcycles.

“Felled trees are still strewn along the barangay roads and clearing the roads is still going on, so we have not gone there yet,” he said.

But Celeste’s El Pescador Resort was heavily damaged. A newly constructed all-wood function room collapsed, and even the sturdy marble tables were not able to defy Emong’s powerful winds and they tumbled over each other.

At the time Emong unleashed its wrath, there was a convention of 400 members of Church of Latter Day Saints “and we did not know where we will put them as almost all rooms had missing roofs,” Celeste said.

May is a peak month for resorts in the town with many tourists arriving. Weddings are usually scheduled this month “so we have to cancel some reservations while weddings will be held at the old function room which had minimal damage,” Celeste said.

Aquaculture, another leading industry of the town suffered the brunt of typhoon Emong.

Former Mayor Jesus Celeste said all 1,000 fish cages in the town sank and the stocks were all released into the sea. Losses in structures and stocks could reach P500 million, he said.

“Our sea is so clear now, there’s not one cage floating,” Celeste said.

But this was not the first time that the town’s aquaculture industry was hit by devastation. In 2002, a massive fish kill ravaged the industry which resulted in P500 million worth of losses.

The former mayor said he no longer operates fish cages but grows fingerlings, losing P5 million worth of fingerlings when his fishpond overflowed

“But I told the fish cage operators that we can stand again, that we can survive like in 2002,” Celeste said.

What’s worse this time, however, is that there were cage caretakers who refused to leave their post and were blown away and swept by current into the sea.

“Many are still missing until now,” he said.

Cirila “Lulay” Celeste, a town resident, said the sight of the town was “depressing.”

Her family lost 30 fruit-bearing mango trees in Luciente II. “The trees did not fell down, they were uprooted,” she said.

Entry filed under: News. Tags: , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Camba  |  June 26, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    To all concerrn:
    I want to noted that in Purok 6 Macandong Binabalian,Bolinao,Pangasinan were the people live in the darkness. They want your help to light their life and to be gracious.So please give them an immediate action because this place was the forgotten place to all.Dont let them live in darkness.Give them light..
    Thank you and more power.


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