PRESS RELEASE                                            

(Quezon City, Philippines)–The Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) has sent out its teams of engineers and other experts to come to the aid of residents who were badly hit by Super Typhoon Odette in the Visayas and Mindanao regions.

LWUA Administrator Guiling “Gene” A. Mamondiong said six teams had been scrambled and fielded out to 181 water districts that bore the brunt of the year’s strongest cyclone.

“We had to physically send our people there because these water districts were so severely damaged and remain without communication lines until now,” Mamondiong said.

The LWUA chief was referring to 9 water districts in Mimaropa, 67 in Region 6, 24 in Region 7, 30 in Region 8, 25 in Caraga and 26 in Region 10.

Aside from assessing the extent of damage and cost of repair to water infrastructure, Mamondiong said the agency would also purchase water treatment facilities to be spread out across the country and stationed in strategic cities like Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Tacloban, San Fernando (Pampanga), and La Union.

He added that these facilities can quickly produce and augment water supply because they can recycle flood water into a purified, potable state.

“This is our best response as of this time, given the situation,” he said. “Once the water passes through the filters and treatment, it is totally safe to drink, even murky, flood water.”

The Administrator also expressed gratitude to all those who extended assistance in the relief and rehab efforts, specially the other water districts who willingly reached out to help their damaged counterparts. These were the Water Districts from Metro Cebu, Toledo, Carcar, Balamban, Roxas, Puerto Princesa, Sogod, and Leyte among others.

Odette has left a trail of death and devastation after the super typhoon hit land nine times after it entered the Philippine area last December 14.  As of this writing, the NDRRMC has a running total of 326 dead and 58 missing, based on news accounts.  Meanwhile, cost of damage to crops, houses and buildings is pegged at P6 billion.