Home Top News Aghon damage runs up to P1B

Aghon damage runs up to P1B

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STRONG winds and heavy rains from Tropical Storm Aghon knocked down this tree in front of the Minor Basilica and Parish of St. John the Baptist in Taytay, Rizal on Sunday. No one was hurt when it crushed two parked vehicles. — PHILIPPINE STAR/MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

By Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza, Reporter

DAMAGE to agriculture and infrastructure caused by “Aghon” (international name: Ewiniar), the first tropical cyclone to hit the Philippines this year, has exceeded over P1 billion, disaster officials said Thursday.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that 19 cities and municipalities declared a state of calamity due to the typhoon damage, with at least eight people reported killed.

Infrastructure damage from the typhoon reached P942.5 million in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Quezon or Region 4A), the region immediately south of the capital Manila.

Add to that P85.6 million worth of damage to agriculture in the adjoining region south, Mimaropa (Mindoro provinces, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan or Region 4B), the NDRRMC said.

Aghon affected a total of 152,266 people or 41,105 families in six regions, including Region 3 (Central Luzon), just north of Manila; Region 5 or Bicol; Region 7 or Central Visayas; and Region 8 or Eastern Visayas.

The destruction wrought by Aghon affected 7,000 houses, 752 of which were totally destroyed.

The typhoon exited the country on May 29, but the NDRRMC said 600 typhoon victims are still staying at evacuation centers, while 2,220 others are forced to take shelter elsewhere.

Also, six areas are still suffering from power outages. Air and sea travel cancellations have kept 142 passengers stranded to date as NDRRMC reported that a damaged seaport in Central Visayas remained non-operational due.

EL NIÑO WEAKENS, BUT…Meanwhile, the NDRRMC quoted the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) that the El Niño weather pattern, which has caused droughts in the Philippines, continued to weaken “but impacts such as hotter and drier conditions still persist.”

On Thursday, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. personally gave several provinces in Davao Region close to P60 million in financial assistance to help them cope with the effects of El Niño.

Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, and Davao Occidental each received P10 million, while Davao del Sur got P19.52 million, according to a press release from his office.

Over 1,000 families in the region have been affected by the weather phenomenon, whose damage to agriculture nationwide had hit P9.5 billion based on a May 21 statement from the Agriculture department.

Davao Region has not declared a state of calamity due to El Niño, but it has logged P49.58 million worth of agricultural losses, the palace said, affecting 1,344 farmers and fisherfolk.

Meanwhile, the Social Welfare department provided P10,000 in financial assistance to 10,000 target beneficiaries in Davao del Oro, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, and Davao Occidental, it said.

“The same beneficiaries received rice assistance from the Office of House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez,” it added.

The Philippines is now a few months away from the filing of candidacies for the 2025 polls.

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