Fabian agriculture damage hits P102.1 million

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Heavy rains spawned by the southwest monsoon and Typhoon Fabian in the past days destroyed more than P102.1 million worth of crops and other farm produce in Luzon.

As of yesterday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) said the affected agricultural lands reached 104.6 hectares.

The bad weather affected 114 livestock and poultry heads as well as 115 agricultural infrastructure and equipment.

Although the NDRRMC said there was only one person who died in the calamity, earlier reports indicated there were at least three casualties and five injuries.

The NDRRMC said the floods brought by Fabian and the monsoon displaced 202,200 people or 50,676 families from 480 barangays.

The victims have been staying in 365 evacuation centers.

The bad weather also submerged several areas in Luzon provinces including Metro Manila.

But the heavy rains hardly increased the water reserves at the Pantabangan Dam in Nueva Ecija.

These gave dam operators the opportunity to save water in the reservoir, according to Rosalinda Bote, department manager of the National Irrigation Administration-Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation System.

In Benguet, residents were warned to remain alert as operators of the Ambuklao and Binga hydroelectric dams opened the floodgates from Sunday night up to dawn yesterday.

The waters affected the villages of Ambuklao, Dalupirip and Tinongdan.

Mayor Thomas Wales Jr. of Bokod town said the Poblacion-Karao and Labey-Lacamen roads were closed to motorists due to landslides.

Two victims of drowning were found in Mangatarem, Pangasinan and Burgos, Ilocos Sur on Sunday.

Roger Abril reportedly drowned in a creek as he tried to rescue his goats in Barangay Calitong, Burgos.

Authorities have yet to identify the woman whom they believed drowned during the bad weather.

In Bulacan, Gov. Daniel Fernando yesterday suspended work at the capitol due to heavy downpour.

Personnel of offices involved in the delivery of basic and health necessities, disaster response and other vital functions were ordered to stay to ensure continuous service. – Ric Sapnu, Artemio Dumlao, Eva Visperas, Cesar Ramirez, Ramon Efren Lazaro

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