Northern Luzon provinces declared in state of calamity

>> Sunday, October 30, 2016

AS SUPER TYPHOON LAWIN exited the country, many provinces were declared in state of calamity last week to include Ilocos Norte, Cagayan, La Union and all Cordillera provinces Ifugao,  Abra, Apayao, Kalinga, Mountain Province and Benguet except Baguio City which had no casualty.
The regional Office of Civil Defense and Disaster office said the Welfare and Development office and Philippine Air Force airlifted food supplies to disaster-stricken areas even as it bared P1.17 billion worth of damages to infrastructure particularly roads. 
The Disaster office said power may be restored in Kalinga in one to two months.
As of press time, there were reportedly 20 casualties in Cordillera, with 15 confirmed dead, four injured and one missing.
Some 106,456 families or 464,724 individuals were affected.
Two construction workers died when a landslide buried their shanty in La Trinidad town in Benguet, while two villagers perished in another landslide and another was swept away in a river and remains missing in Ifugao province.
A 70-year-old man died apparently of a heart attack in an emergency shelter while another man died after being pinned by a fallen tree in Isabela province.
An 85-year-old woman identified only as Cariaga perished in Pasuquin town in Ilocos Norte.
National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council executive director Ricardo Jalad said landslides that hit two towns in Benguet claimed the lives of Jhon Carlos Hatop, a 19-day-old baby; Joshua Halle, 19, Jessie Hella, 28, all of Sagpat, Kibungan and 65-year-old Arsenio Lantaen of Abatan, Buguias.
Over in La Trinidad, 40-year-old Edgar Genese and Jonie Borja, 35, also died in a landslide that hit their village.
In Ifugao, a certain Junior Chawagan, 16, and Jeramel Alfaro, 17, perished in a landslide that hit residential areas in Hungduan town. 
A certain Larry Duyapat, also from Hungduan, was reported missing.
Jalad said forced evacuations from high-risk communities helped prevent a larger number of casualties.
Jalad said they forced the evacuation of 18,157 families from villages in the Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) region, Bicol and the Cordillera . 
Meanwhile, the regional Highways office identified roads closed at presstime: Baguio-Bontoc Road, Cagayan-Tabuk Enrile Road, Bontoc-Banaue, Ifugao-Nueva Vizcaya and Mountain Province-Ilocos Sur via Tue.    
Some 39 national, provincial and municipal roads were closed at the height of Typhoon Lawin.
Seventy-six houses were totally damaged. More than P394 million worth of agricultural produce were damaged, while more than P6 million worth of fisheries products went down the drain.
At least 36 road systems remain closed several days, while major routes to the provincial centers including Baguio City have been restored. 
 Although power has been completely restored in Baguio City,  more than half of Benguet (59 percent) still is without power, while at Bangued, Abra’s capital town only Zone 1 had power Monday night.
 Electricity in Bauko, Sabangan, Tadian, Sagada, Besao, Bontoc and Sadanga have been restored Monday afternoon, while Apayao and Kalinga provinces are still suffering from power outages.
Cagayan, La Union
With relief supplies running low and dozens of towns and villages still in shambles in the aftermath of Lawin, the Cagayan provincial government placed the entire province under a state of calamity.
Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba appealed for immediate help from the national government, saying the province is now in dire need of help as their current food stocks have been diminished and could only last for several days.
“The province is now under a state of calamity,” Mamba said during a radio interview.
He said without help from the national government, it will take months for the province to recover.
Mamba said Lawin literally damaged or destroyed everything in the province.
“Even our provincial building was damaged,” he said, describing Lawin as the most powerful typhoon in history to hit the province.
Aside from food, medicine and potable water, Mamba also appealed for tents for temporary shelters for displaced residents, most of whom are living in makeshift tents set up along roadsides.
As of presstime, the province remained without power supply, with limited electricity being provided by generator sets.
The province of La Union was also placed under a state of calamity.
Government agencies, through the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, are currently organizing relief caravans for Cagayan, the Ilocos regions and CAR.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III launched an emergency employment program for affected residents.
Private donors that included the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) allocated P2 million to areas devastated by the typhoon.
A teachers’ organization is urging the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to immediately release the year-end bonus of public educators and other government officials in areas affected by Lawin.
“The severity of the blows suffered by many provinces in Luzon due to cyclones, most recently Super Typhoon Lawin, underscores the need to prioritize assistance to those affected,” the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) said.

Zero casualty for Lawin in Ilocos
The Ilocos region attained zero casualty during Typhoon Lawin, the Office of Civil Defense reported.  
Melchito Castro, OCD-Region 1 chief and regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC) chairman, lauded the efforts of local government officials as well as the cooperation and support of the residents in preparing for the typhoon.
A reported death in Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte was not-typhoon related, officials said.
Ilocos Norte was placed under a state of calamity.
The provincial DRRMC said damage to agriculture and infrastructure was placed at P673 million. 
A state of calamity was also declared in Ilocos Sur. Damage to infrastructure was estimated at P324 million and P313 million to agriculture.
Meanwhile, the entire province of Abra is still without power due to electric posts felled by Lawin.
Power may be restored in Bangued sooner while the rest of the province may have to wait for a few more days, said Loreto Seares Jr., Abra Electric Cooperative (Abreco) general manager.

Seares said losses incurred by Abreco due to the typhoon reached P60 million. -- – With Raymund Catindig, Eva Visperas and Jun Elias


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