P578-M crops in Cagayan damaged by floods

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TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan: Floodwaters dumped by typhoon Nona over the Cagayan Valley region had inundated the low-lying areas of four provinces, damaging more than P578 million worth of agriculture and fishery products, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Region 2 reported.

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OCD Regional Director Norma Talosig said the provinces of Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Cagayan and Quirino suffered damage estimated at more than P576 million worth of palay, corn and high value crops; while damage to fisheries in Cagayan, Isabela and Quirino was placed at P1.859 million.

About 278 villages were flooded in 26 municipalities and two cities in the four provinces, which affected more than 46,790 families and damaged 96 houses, either totally or partially.

“Flooding has subsided in residential areas. However, it still persists in some farmlands in 18 municipalities in Isabela and six municipalities in Cagayan,” Talosig said.

On Monday the National Irrigation Administration-Magat River Integrated Irrigation System (NIA-MARIIS) management warned of massive flooding in low-lying cities and municipalities in Cagayan and Isabela following the release of water from Magat Dam after it reached its spilling level.

The Magat Dam management on Tuesday continued to discharge water from the dam as its elevation remained critical.

Wilfredo Gloria, NIA-MARIIS department manager, said the Magat reservoir elevation as of 2p.m. on Tuesday stood at 192.95 meters, slightly lower than on Monday’s 193.17 meters, which was slightly above the critical and spilling level of 193 meters.

He said the volume of water being released only required one spillway gate opened at two meters, compared with Monday’s opening of four of the seven units of spillway gates at seven meters, which caused the inundation of the low-lying areas in Isabela.

The swelling of the dam’s major sources, such as the Ibulao River in Ifugao and the Magat River in Nueva Vizcaya, was caused by continuous downpour from typhoon Nona and the northeast monsoon that resulted in the rapid increase of water level in Magat Dam, he said.

Meanwhile, Isabela Gov. Faustino Dy 3rd and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan have passed Resolution (SPR) 336, calling on all government offices and agencies to adopt austere Christmas and New Year celebrations to commiserate with farmers whose crops have been severely affected by the recent calamities.

Board Member Karen Abuan, who sponsored the resolution, quoted a report by the Provincial Agriculture Office as saying that more than P857 million worth of primary agriculture products have been damaged by the long dry spell and the onslaught of the recent typhoons, particularly Lando, as well as the recent flooding in agricultural communities.

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