Environment & Climate News

Typhoon ‘Egay’ death toll hits 54; damage over P10 B; state of calamity proclaimed

By ALFRED GABOT, Editor in Chief

QUEZON CITY – Typhoon Egay battered Northern Philippines, including President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s home province of Ilocos Norte, Central Luzon, Metro Manila and surrounding areas during the past days and left in its wake  massive destruction to infrastructures, agriculture and other sectors to the tune of over P11 billion and killed at least 54 persons, including 26 passengers of a boat which sunk in the Rizal province side of Laguna Lake at the height of the typhoon.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said 52 people were reported injured in over 849 typhoon-related incidents.

The NDRRMC said two deaths have been confirmed — one each in Calabarzon and Western Visayas.

The remaining 27 are still undergoing validation — 14 in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), eight in the Ilocos Region, three in Calabarzon and one each in Western Visayas and Davao Region.

Meanwhile, persons reported injured were placed at 165, with 152 confirmed and 13 still undergoing validation. The number of reported missing and still undergoing confirmation was placed at 11.

Damage to infrastructure alone due to Typhoon Egay reached more than P7 billion even as over a dozen national roads were still impassable at press time.

The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) incurred the biggest damage at P2.27 billion, with Abra posting the bulk of the losses estimated at P1.48 billion, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Ilocos and Central Luzon recorded losses of P2.21 billion and P1.98 billion, respectively.

The damage and losses in the country’s agricultural and fisheries sector caused by Typhoon Egay have reached nearly P5 billion, the Department of Agriculture (DA) reported

The destruction triggered by heavy rains and winds  prompted Ilocos Norte, Cagayan, Pampanga, Bataan, Cavite, Abra, Mountain Province, and Apayao and over 100 areas in the country to declare a state of calamity.

Other towns or cities which made the declaration were Dagupan City in Pangasinan; Bangar and Luna in La Union; Calumpit, Hagonoy, Paombong and Pulilan in Bulacan; and Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro.

President Marcos flew to the affected areas including Abra and Ilocos Norte and led in distribution of assistance and in coordinating goverment efforts in response to the typhoon.

The NDRMMC said 675,357 families or 2,476,907 individuals were affected by Egay. It said 317,975 persons have been displaced, and 17,349 were pre-emptively evacuated.

The affected areas include 13 regions, 47 provinces, 449 cities and municipalities, and 4,255 barangays

In Bangued, Abra, Marcos assured the victims of the super typhoon that everything they need has already been prepared by the government.

“Kaya kami nandito para tiyaking na maayos ang takbo at magbigay ng instruction para maging maliwanag kung ano ‘yung dapat nating gawin,” President Marcos said during the distribution of government’s assistance to Egay victims in Bangued.

Prior to the distribution, the President presided over a situaton briefing on the effects of super typhoon Egay from the governors of Abra, Benguet and Mt. Province and various government agencies involved in disaster response efforts.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has provided P5.62 million worth of assistance to the affected residents with the help of the local government unit (LGU) of Abra and the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) – Cordillera Administrative Region.

At least 8,375 family food packs and 5,926 other food and non-food items were also made available for the victims of super typhoon Egay while 96 gallons of water and 1,142 hygiene kits were provided to the affected residents.

President Marcos, who is also the concurring Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA), has also made various assistance available for the affected farmers and fishers such as seeds, medicines and biologics for livestock and poultry and fingerlings.

The Survival and Recovery Loan Program (SRLP) and the quick response fund were also prepared by the DA.In Laoag City,  Marcos expressed satisfaction on Saturday with the government’s response to the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Egay, as he promised to continue providing aid to those affected particularly food, potable water, medicine, and shelter assistance.

“So, that’s more or less the general issues that we have been talking about. Mukha naman ang response ng national government ay satisfactory,” President Marcos said after the situation briefing in Laoag, Ilocos Norte.

“I can say that it’s okay but talagang mabigat itong nangyari dahil the rains are much, much heavy than we have had in recent times and even kagaya dito sa Ilocos Norte tinitingnan ko kung saan nagbaha, ganon na naman… ‘yung mga dating hindi binabaha (ang) nabaha. May mga baha na dinaanan na hindi dati dinadaanan.”

The country has to get used to the new weather pattern because of the obvious effects of climate change, he noted.

Government responders are working to reach isolated areas to bring food and basic necessities, using all means to provide assistance to far-flung communities, Marcos said, adding that the good thing is that the government was able to preposition food packs in critical areas before the typhoon struck.