• ‘Lawin’ damage estimated at P658M

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    PEP TALK Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross, sends off Red Cross staff to a relief caravan to northern Luzon provinces devastated by Super Typhoon “Lawin.” PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN

    PEP TALK Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross, sends off Red Cross staff to a relief caravan to northern Luzon provinces devastated by Super Typhoon “Lawin.” PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN

    THREE days after Super Typhoon “Lawin” left a trail of death and destruction, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said agriculture and infrastructure losses in the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and Cordillera regions have reached nearly P658 million.

    Agricultural damage was placed at P75.9 million and infrastructure losses at P581.9 million.

    The Department of Social Welfare and Development as well as local government units provided assistance to affected families amounting to P6.1 million.

    The Philippine Red Cross, meanwhile, sent a caravan with equipment and relief items as well as personnel trained in relief operations.

    The NDRRMC reported that:
    – 1,327 houses were destroyed by the typhoon;

    – a total of 28,710 families were affected, displacing a total of 142,531 individuals from their homes;

    – 22,814 families or 92,002 individuals were moved to 643 evacuation centers;

    – 118 villages were flooded in the four regions;

    – a total of 80 road sections and 19 bridges were not passable due to floods and landslides; and

    – power interruptions were experienced in 160 cities and municipalities in the typhoon-ravaged areas.

    The NDRRMC said at least eight persons were reported dead in the Cordillera Administrative Region due to landslides brought by Lawin, which packed winds of 150 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 185 kph.

    Seven of the fatalities were identified as Gene Genese, 40; Janie Borja, 35; John Carlos Hatap, 19; Joshua Helia, 19; Jessie Helia, 19; Jay-Ar Chawagan, 15 and Jeramel Alfaro, 17.

    Red Cross caravan
    The Red Cross caravan headed to Northern Luzon on Saturday was composed of a rescue van, Doosan wheel loader, dump truck, 6×6 multi-role truck, a 4,000-liter fuel tanker and a 10,000-liter water tanker, a “hot meals on wheels” van, a rescue van, two Humvees, two ambulance units, and two 10-wheeler trucks loaded with emergency relief items good for 1,500 families.

    A total of 1,141 corrugated galvanized iron sheets and other shelter repair materials were also earmarked for distribution to families whose roofs were blown off by Lawin.

    Initial assessments made by Red Cross teams found that in affected areas, particularly in the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela, 80 percent of houses and community infrastructure had roofs blown off.

    “There have been three devastating typhoons that have struck Northern Luzon one after the other,” said Sen. Richard Gordon, the Red Cross chairman.

    Red Cross staff and volunteers, with personnel from the county delegations of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, have been deployed to some of the affected areas.

    Aside from monitoring and assessment, Red Cross rescuers and emergency responders conducted rescue operations amid Lawin’s wrath.

    Based on initial ground reports, Red Cross staff and volunteers rescued 82 individuals (28 in Isabela, 3 in Ilocos Sur and 51 in Mountain Province) from flooded homes and areas.

    Welfare desks were put up in Cagayan and Nueva Ecija and provided hot meals to families in evacuation centers in Cagayan and Mountain Province.

    A report from the Red Cross Operations Center showed that almost 3,000 people were provided various forms of assistance.

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