#LeyteNeedsHelp: Photos, videos show ‘Agaton’s’ wrath

April 13, 2022 - 6:42 PM
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In this photo on April 12, 2022, the Philippine Coast Guard conducts rescue operations following the landslide that occurred in Baybay City in Leyte. (Facebook/PCG)

Hashtags #LeyteNeedsHelp and #BaybayCityneedshelp are among the trending topics on Twitter after some online users cried for help for areas affected by Tropical Depression “Agaton” (International name: Megi).

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Agaton brought heavy rainfall to several parts of the country last Saturday, April 9.

Online users posted photos and videos of landslides and flooded areas to raise awareness of their situation on the ground.

A weather forecasting page called the Philippine Weather System shared photos from contributors of households and establishments submerged in floodwaters in Capiz and Iloilo.

Perceived lack of media attention

In the past few days, regional reporters of local media outlets have been covering the aftermath of Agaton in Leyte, Capiz, and other affected communities.

Their reports were also posted on the news outlets’ official social media pages.

Footage of the landslide in Barangay Pilar in the municipality of Abuyog in Leyte was also picked up by news outlets and reported on social media on Wednesday, April 13.

Some online users who have not seen these reports, however, perceived a lack of media coverage of on Agaton-stricken areas.

“Hello! We need MORE AND WIDER MEDIA COVERAGE and ASSISTANCE on this devastating situation LEYTE is facing. We NEED THE MOST ATTENTION on a NATIONAL LEVEL, PLEASE,” one Twitter user said.

Reporter Anjo Bagaoisan of ABS-CBN News responded to one of these users. He shared a thread of screenshots of TV Patrol’s coverage of Agaton and its aftermath in Leyte, particularly in Baybay City.

“TV Patrol’s top story since Monday has been the floods in Leyte, filed by the once reporters of our regional station (now stringers) who are there on the ground. On Tuesday, it was a live report from Baybay City itself,” Bagaoisan tweeted.

Other journalists also pointed out anew the importance of ABS-CBN’s regional stations in reporting stories of natural calamities in far-flung areas.

“ABS-CBN had the largest regional network, and was a vital source of information during calamities. Until the Duterte gov’t and its allies in Congress shut it down. Now, this. Devastated provinces not getting enough coverage. We’ve seen this also late last year,” journalist Prinz Magtulis tweeted.

READ: ABS-CBN’s regional stations missed after Odette’s wrath in Visayas, Mindanao

Updates on the damage

Baybay City was declared under a state of calamity on April 11 due to the landslides and torrential flooding in its barangays since April 10.

Meanwhile, based on reports, the death toll due to Agaton rose to 57, citing data from local authorities and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council as of Wednesday.

Leyte Mayor Jose Carlos Cari of Baybay City told CNN Philippines that the provincial city alone recorded 47 deaths caused by landslides.

According to NDRRMC’s latest report, at least 580,876 individuals or 213,327 families were affected by the tropical cyclone.

The Department of Agriculture, meanwhile, previously logged a staggering P265.3 million in damage to livestock and farms in the regions of Eastern Visayas and Caraga.

READ: Thousands displaced after ‘Agaton’ hits Philippines