Damage due to rains, floods nears P900M

01/13/2011 - THE rains that battered 23 provinces in nearly two weeks damaged P900 million worth of properties and crops, as the state weather bureau warned of more rainy days ahead in the eastern part of the country.

Eastern Samar also joined the list of areas under state of calamity after it reported six fatalities, while the Provincial Government asked residents in 25 villages to remain in evacuation centers until the water level in rivers subside.

In its Wednesday bulletin, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) said damage to rains and floods has reached P898.26 million, which includes P286.77 million losses to agriculture, P593.49 million to infrastructure and P20.99 million to private properties.

Seven more people were added in the death toll, raising the number of fatalities to 40. As of this posting, the agency recorded eight injured while seven are still missing.

The massive flooding likewise sidelined 248,223 families or 1,294,039 people in the regions of Bicol, Central Visayas, Eastern Samar, Northern Mindanao, Caraga, Davao, and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm).

Caraga still leads the pack with the most number of affected residents with 112,096 families (or 601,804 people), followed by Eastern Visayas with 66,341 families (or 338,064 people), and Bicol with 38,353 families (or 196,435 people).

The NDRRMC reported that 4,839 families or 22,505 people are still housed in 86 evacuation centers, with Eastern Visayas topping the list with 1,081 families or 4,820 individuals still away from home.

In Eastern Visayas, the remaining evacuees are from Borongan and Maslog in Eastern Samar; and Bontoc, Saint Bernard and Sogod in Southern Leyte.

Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman said they have pre-positioned around P33.99 million in funds and relief goods for those affected by the recent calamity.

She added that her department has already provided P6.74-million worth of relief assistance to support the local government units hit by flashfloods and heavy rains.

As this developed, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) warned of possible flash floods and landslides in Bicol and Eastern Visayas.

Robert Sawi, Pagasa’s acting weather division chief, said the northeast monsoon is still prevailing over Northern and Central Luzon and the diffused tail-end of a cold front affects Southern Luzon and Visayas.

The rains were also intensified due to La Niña phenomenon, which is expected to continue at least into the March-April-May 2011 season (Sun Star)

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