The family of Miss Universe Philippines 2021 Beatrice Luigi Gomez in Cebu City is among the thousands who have been affected by the wrath of Typhoon Odette.
Typhoon Odette (international name Rai) pummeled into parts of the country, mostly in the Visayas and Mindanao, starting Thursday, Dec. 16. With this, hundreds of thousands of individuals were preemptively evacuated due to the threats of the typhoon. The typhoon has reportedly left at least one dead since it slammed into the island of Siargao on Dec. 16, with minimum sustained winds of 195 kph.
Among those who were affected by Odette, the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines in 2021, was Gomez’s family.
“I was on FaceTime with my sister and mama when the storm was just about to hit. It only took minutes from a happy conversation to shift into a ghastly phone call as I heard them struggle the entire night,” Gomez wrote on Instagram in the afternoon of Dec. 17.
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She added, “My family is now safe thank you to Sir @jessiehperez for staying up with me to contact my family and making sure that they’re safe as the storm was passing.”
Included in Gomez’s post are Typhoon Odette Relief Initiative details of Simply Share Foundation and the Naval Reserve Center of Eastern Visayas, where people can donate.
“It’s only a few days away and yet my heart bleeds for Cebu. My family’s home is just one of the many devastated by one of the strongest typhoons that hit Cebu and the surrounding provinces,” she wrote.
Gomez also urged people to donate in the relief initiative “to respond to this calamity and bring back hope and light to my fellow Sugboanons. Your simple act of kindness means a lot.”
Gomez just arrived from Israel on Dec. 16 after she represented the country in the 70th Miss Universe pageant, where she finished in the Top 5. She is reportedly under quarantine in a hotel in Pasay City based on her earlier Instagram Stories.
Meanwhile, the Miss Universe Philippines Organization released a statement early morning of Dec. 17 that it will be postponing any interviews with Gomez as her family is her priority at this time.
“According to Bea, her family was trapped in their home during the typhoon and it badly damaged the apartment building. Thankfully they are physically safe now. Bea’s priority is her family’s welfare at the moment,” the organization said.
Because of the current situation, Gomez will head to Cebu to assist her family as soon as she gets out of quarantine.
The MUPh Organization also appealed to the public to support Gomez’s relief efforts to help the victims of the typhoon.