‘Karen’ leaves P2B damage to crops


    TYPHOON Karen (international name Sarika) destroyed more than P2 billion agricultural crops and affected 80,000 people in five provinces and the Cagayan Valley region as it exited on Sunday even as the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) remained on red alert as it braces for another storm, Typhoon Lawin (Haima).

    The NDRRMC said in its report Monday that a total of 17,157 families or 80,458 persons in 260 barangay in the provinces of Aurora, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Zambales were affected by the Typhoon Karen.
    A total of 491 houses were totally destroyed while 3,373 were partially damaged in Aurora.

    At least 39 villages are submerged in floodwateres in the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga and Nueva Ecija.

    “All national roads in Aurora province are not passable to all types of vehicle due to fallen trees and electrical posts. A total of 10 road sections are not passable in Nueva Ecija. A total of five bridges in Bulacan and Nueva Ecija are not passable,” the NDRRMC said in its report.

    Nueva Ecija, at the same time, was placed under a state of calamity after Typhoon Karen destroyed an estimated P1.6 billion of agricultural crops and left an elderly woman dead.

    Governor Czarina Umali, who also chairs the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), said that at least P92 million in high value crops and P6 million in corn were damaged as shown in post assessment reports.

    The provincial agricultural office said the damage comprised about 15 percent of the total hectares of farmland devoted to palay (118,000 hectares), high value crops (1,350 hectares) and corn (718 hectares).

    PDRRMC Director Abraham Pascua reported the lone casualty as Heidy Mauricio, 66, who died after trees fell on her house in Llanera town.

    Relief goods were distributed to 10,698 residents and 6,100 households in the towns of Gabaldon and Laur.
    Ernest Vidal, regional communication officer of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), said power was restored in various areas in Talavera, General Natividad, Gabaldon, Talugtug General Tinio and Laur towns, while repairs on the Cabanatuan–Fatima 69-kv line has been completed. Ongoing clearing operations and aerial inspection in the Bongabon-San Luis line segment was underway.

    A protected dike in Barangay San Vicente, Laur and the Gabaldon–Bongabon road in Barangay Singalat in Palayan City–Gen. Natividad town both remained not passable to vehicles.

    In Cagayan Valley 16 bridges remain not passable. About 1,312 families (4,414 persons) were affected with 36 houses totally damaged while 672 were partially destroyed in the towns of Aritao, Solano, Dupax del Sur, Kayapa, Bayombong and Santa Fe in Nueva Vizcaya.

    Commuters were stranded in Aparri and Santa Ana towns in Cagayan as well as those traveling by boat to Calayan and Babuyan Islands, as well as in Maconacon, Dinapigue and Divilacan towns in Isabela.
    Classes in all levels remain suspended in Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino provinces.

    Meanwhile, the NDRRMC said that eight mountaineers and four local tour guides earlier reported missing in Mount Mingan in Dingalan, Aurora have been rescued and are under the custody of one Roger Villa in Barangay Dabildabilan.

    Disaster mitigation teams also rescued a total of 100 mountaineers who climbed Mount Tarak in Mariveles, Bataan on Sunday. Senior Supt. Benjamin Silo Jr., Bataan police director, said that the last batch of 100 mountaineers arrived at 12:30 p.m. at the command post in barangay Alas-Asin, Mariveles. Sherry Solis, 29, a mountaineer from Cavite, suffered minor injuries.

    Barangay chairman Roberto Arcenal said only 75 mountaineers passed their village hall to register Saturday.
    He said that some entered the ridge from the village of Pantingan in Pilar town and exited in Alas-Asin so they have no record of all those climbing the Mariveles mountain.


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