PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte was in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan on Sunday, to lead distribution of relief goods and provision of Emergency Shelter Assistance to families affected by Super Typhoon “Lawin,” which devastated Cagayan Valley (Region 2) late last week.
The Office of the Civil Defense-Region 2 said the recorded number of families affected by the super typhoon rose to 33,617 or 165,957 persons in Cagayan Valley as the office continued to gather data in remote areas, some of which are still isolated.
The recorded affected families come from the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino provinces and of which 9,936 families or 42,426 persons are still in 339 evacuation centers in the region.
Updated records of the Department of Social Work and Development-Region 2 showed a total of 502 totally and 1,317 partly damaged houses in Cagayan; 2,127 totally and 10,968 partly damaged houses in Isabela; and eight totally and 66 partly damaged houses in Nueva Vizcaya or a total of 2,637 totally and 12,351 partly damaged houses in the region.
Damage to roads and bridges in Region 2, in an initial report, was estimated at P288.85 million: Cagayan with 118.4 million, Isabela with P161,000, Nueva Vizcaya with P23.95 million and Quirino with 146.34 million.
According to the Department of Education (DepEd), the initial estimated damage to school buildings and facilities was placed at P299.55 million: P1.7 million in Cagayan and P297.85 million in Isabela.
Damage to DepEd buildings was placed at P500,000.
The Department of Agriculture has recorded a total of P6.2 billion in damage to the region: agricultural crops at P6.1 billion, livestock at P3.7 million and agricultural infrastructure at P30.4 million.
The Provincial Government of Cagayan has placed the province under a state of calamity, according to Gov. Manuel Mamba, who pleaded for help from the national government and the private sector to recover from the devastation wrought by Super Typhoon Lawin.
“We are asking for help especially for shelters of those who have lost their houses. Almost all of the houses in the province, particularly in Tuguegarao City, were destroyed by the super typhoon,” Mamba said.
With Lawin being the strongest typhoon to have hit Cagayan, he added, “it would take several months for the province to recover without the help of the national government.”
The typhoon pummeled Cagayan late Wednesday and crossed parts of Luzon before it exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Thursday.
Mamba noted that Lawin had caused the hoisting by the state weather bureau of a first-ever Storm Signal Number 5 not only in Cagayan but also in Isabela.
Meanwhile, the Magat dam reservoir elevation has gone up to 191.22 meters, exceeding its critical level of 190 meters.
The National Irrigation Administration Magat River Integrated Irrigation System said the level is 1.78 meters short of reaching the dam’s maximum and spilling level, which could cause massive flooding in Cagayan, Isabela and Quirino.
The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC) has continued warning residents to stay away from low-lying areas particularly along Magat River and Cagayan River and their tributaries.
Areas prone to flooding were identified by the RDRRMC as the cities of Cauayan and Ilagan and the towns of San Agustin, Jones, Echague, Angadanan, Gamu, Reina Mercedes, Tumauini, San Pablo, Delfin Albano, Santa Maria and Cabagan, all in Isabela.
In Cagayan province, the flood-prone areas were identified as Tuguegarao City and the towns of Iguig, Solana, Amulung, Lasam, Alcala, Gattaran, Lallo, Camalaniugan and Aparri.