13 September 2021 | Following the aftermath of Typhoon Kiko which hit Batanes last September 11 at 265 km/h, the whole Ivatan community has been—and is still—trying to put back together what has been left by the storm.

In DTI Batanes, although the office took care to secure everything as best they can last Friday by tying things down and nailing “tapangko” onto the windows, the strength of the typhoon still managed to damage a lot.

Most noticeable of all is the two and a half meter Citizen’s Charter which toppled down and blocked the entrance. The DTI Batanes Provincial Office Signage was also blown away and is now a shredded mess. The office vehicle’s windows were smashed and its sides dented by debris flung by the wind. None of the supplies and materials in the three storage rooms were left dry since the doors and windows still allowed for small gaps where the wind pushed in the rain. The temporary kitchen made of GI sheets and built at behind the office is now missing its roof and half its walls. Lastly, the vegetable garden plots carefully tended by the staff are now hidden under a thick carpet of debris. Needless to say, trees and plants alike are devoid of leaves which have been scattered all across the yard, inside the office, and even stuck tight on the walls.

As of today, electricity is yet to be reestablished but is expected to return in two weeks’ time. Signal for text messages has just just returned although still unstable but data and Wi-Fi connection is yet to be restored. To connect online, most have resorted to travelling in the southernmost municipality of Uyugan—a 30 kilometer drive from Basco. Water is, thankfully, still available in the office.

While some staff are conducting post-typhoon monitoring, half are now working together to clean up everything and restore some semblance of order in the office. It will, however, take a while to rebuild the more severe damages in the building.(Courtesy:DTI-Batanes)