Ulysses’ damage to agriculture, infrastructure hits P12.8 billion

Romina Cabrera (The Philippine Star) - November 23, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The amount of damage to agriculture and infrastructure caused by Typhoon Ulysses has reached P12.8 billion, disaster officials said yesterday.

Latest report from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) showed the damage to infrastructure alone amounted to P8.69 billion, with Cagayan Valley incurring the largest losses at almost P5 billion.

Bicol incurred P1.85 billion in total damage to infrastructure.

Throughout the other regions in Luzon, the NDRRMC said over 88,700 houses were destroyed.

The same report estimated the amount of damage brought by Ulysses to agriculture at P4.2 billion.

Over 3.8 million people or 832,467 families were directly affected by the typhoon, the NDRRMC said.

Of the figure, 140,000 people are still in 723 evacuation centers, waiting to be relocated.

Human Settlements Secretary Eduardo del Rosario ordered the immediate assessment of the housing situation in areas affected by recent typhoons.

The post-disaster assessment will help the recently created “Build Back Better” Task Force facilitate the relocation of families exposed to climate change-related hazards as well as in constructing safe evacuation facilities, Del Rosario said.

“All we need to do is to have the post-disaster team go to provinces affected by these typhoons and give us a full picture and assessment of the damage. That will be the basis of the task force in deciding what rehabilitation concerns to undertake,” Del Rosario said in a statement issued yesterday.

He said the team should coordinate its task and findings with the Office of Civil Defense, which is also conducting a post-disaster risk assessment together with other government agencies.

The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development has been tasked to relocate poor families, particularly those living in disaster-prone areas.

Ulysses left 73 people dead, 68 injured and 19 still missing in various regions based on yesterday’s tally of the NDRRMC.

President Duterte has placed the entire Luzon under a state of calamity following the string of strong typhoons in the past few weeks. — Elizabeth Marcelo

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