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Maring death toll hits 30

Ralph Villanueva - The Philippine Star
Maring death toll hits 30
This handout photo taken on October 11, 2021 and received on October 12 from Gonzaga Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (GONZAGA-MDRRMO), shows rescuers evacuating residents from their homes near a swollen river due to heavy rains brought about by Tropical Storm Kompasu in Gonzaga town, Cagayan province, north of Manila.
Handout / Gonzaga Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — The death toll from Severe Tropical Storm Maring rose to 30 yesterday while 13 others remain missing, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said.

Most of the fatalities were recorded in Ilocos Sur with 14, followed by Benguet with nine, and Laguna and Palawan with four each.

The provinces of Cagayan and Pangasinan logged two and one dead, respectively.

Search is ongoing for 13 people reported missing in Benguet, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, La Union, Palawan and Rizal.

Maring (international name Kompasu) displaced more than 50,000 families and left over P1 billion damage to agriculture.

Authorities placed the damage to infrastructure at more than P66 million, the NDRRMC said.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) however said the damage to agriculture stood at P980 million as of yesterday.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the intertropical convergence zone would continue to bring rain over Luzon and the Visayas.

Cloudy skies with scattered rain showers are expected over Aurora, Marinduque, Mindoro and Romblon as well as in Calabarazon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), Bicol, Cagayan Valley, Eastern Visayas and Metro Manila.

No tropical cyclone formation is expected in the next two to three days within and around the Philippine area of responsibility.

Assistance

The DA is allocating an initial amount of P822 million to assist farmers and fisherfolk affected by Maring.

Of the amount, P650 million will be allocated for the provision of emergency loans to affected farmers and fishers under the SURE Calamity Loan Assistance Program through the DA-Agricultural Credit Policy Council, the DA said.

Affected households can borrow P20,000 at zero interest-no collateral scheme, and payable in 10 years.

The DA allotted P172 million under its Quick Response Fund for the rehabilitation of affected areas in Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley and the Cordilleras, which were hit hard by the storm.

“These interventions are over and above the regular assistance provided by the DA to farmers and fishers affected by typhoons and other natural calamities,” the DA said.

Among the regular assistance, which are ready for distribution are 169,000 bags of certified rice seeds, 16,600 bags of certified corn seeds, and 1,480 kilos of assorted vegetable seeds; drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry, and indemnification for affected farmers/fishers from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is helping government agencies transport and distribute assistance in areas affected by Maring.

The DA said 35,429 farmers and 52,132 hectares of agricultural areas in Bicol, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, the Cordilleras, Ilocos region and Western Visayas were affected by the bad weather, with production loss at 59,514 metric tons (MT).

Rice accounted for 79.72 percent of the damage with a volume loss of 45,491 MT valued at P781.3 million.

Corn accounted for 12.39 percent of the damage with a volume loss of 7,870 MT valued at P121.4 million.

High value crops incurred 6.05 percent share of the damage with a volume loss of 6,153 MT and valued at P59.3 million.

The fishery sector logged P11.8 million worth of damage, particularly on produce, ponds or dikes and fishing boats.

The DA said the damage could have been more massive had it not advised farmers and fishers to harvest early. – Romina Cabrera, Catherine Talavera, Robertzon Ramirez, Eva Visperas, Ed Amoroso

TROPICAL STORM
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