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Nation

Maring death toll hits 39; agriculture damage nears P2 billion

Catherine Talavera, Ralph Edwin Villanueva - The Philippine Star
Maring death toll hits 39; agriculture damage nears P2 billion
Residents ride on makeshift boats to cross a flooded street in Calasiao, Pangasinan yesterday.
Cesar Ramirez

MANILA, Philippines — The number of fatalities due to Severe Tropical Storm Maring has risen to 39, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported yesterday.

The NDRMMC said 22 of the reported deaths have been verified.

Fourteen were recorded in Ilocos Sur, seven in Pangasinan, nine in Benguet, five in Palawan, two in Cagayan and one each in Ilocos Norte and La Union.

Sixteen persons were reported missing while three were injured.

The NDRRMC said the storm affected 155,156 families or 611,705 people as of yesterday.

Damage to agriculture climbed to P1.74 billion, with 56,718 farmers and fishermen affected, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA)’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Operation Center.

Production loss was at 91,422 metric tons, with 68,137 hectares of agricultural areas affected.

Affected commodities include rice, corn, high-value crops, livestock and fisheries.

The DA said 28,952 hectares of rice have been harvested in Ilocos and Cagayan Valley valued at P2.08 billion.

At least 55,654 MT of corn in 13,776 hectares valued at P779.15 million were also saved.

State of calamity in La Union

In La Union, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed a resolution declaring a state of calamity.

Initial damage to agriculture in the province was pegged at P369.2 million; livestock, P5.1 million, and infrastructure, P63.1 million.

The provincial disaster risk reduction and management council said 259 barangays and 38,812 families or 135,881 people were affected by the storm as of Oct. 14.

Two were injured and three were reported missing.

The towns of Rosario, San Juan, Bauang, Sudipen, Tubao, Pugo, Naguilian, Sto. Tomas, Agoo, Bangar, Bagulin, Santol, San Gabriel, Luna, Bacnotan, Balaoan and Burgos were most affected by the weather disturbance.

Many barangays experienced flooding and power outages.

The declaration of a state of calamity will ensure the utilization of quick response and related funds for relief and rehabilitation efforts.

The city council of Dagupan in Pangasinan had earlier declared a state of calamity amid widespread flooding.

At least 165 families were initially reported to have been displaced.

P1.5-B aid to farmers, fishers

The DA said it has rolled out P1.5 billion worth of assistance to farmers and fisherfolk affected by the storm.

The DA said P650 million was earmarked for emergency loans under the SURE Calamity Loan Assistance program through its Agricultural Credit Policy Council.

“Affected households can borrow P20,000 each at zero interest, no collateral and payable in 10 years,” the DA said.

The agency said P172 million was allocated under its quick response fund to rehabilitate affected areas in the Cordilleras, Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas and Soccsksargen.

At least P370 million worth of crop insurance was made available by the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. to indemnify affected farmers in Luzon. – Eva Visperas

TROPICAL STORM MARING
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