‘Maring’ death toll up to 30: NDRRMC

    FROM 16 last Wednesday, the death toll from the onslaught unleashed by tropical storm “Maring” rose to at least 30 yesterday while damage to agriculture exceeded a billion pesos, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

    Fourteen of the deaths were reported in Ilocos Sur, nine in Benguet, four in Palawan, two in Cagayan, and one in Pangasinan, mostly due to drowning and landslides.

    Only 19 of the 30 deaths have been so far validated by the NDRRMC – the 14 deaths in Ilocos Sur, four in Palawan, and one in Pangasinan. The 11 others are still subject to validation.

    The NDRRMC said 14 others have been reported missing – five in Palawan, three each in La Union and Ilocos, and one each in Ilocos Norte, Pangasinan and Benguet. All have been validated, except the one in Benguet.

    Damage to agriculture was placed initially at P1.09 billion in Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, Mimaropa, Western Visayas and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), the NDRRMC added. It said damage to infrastructure in CAR and Western Visayas was pegged at P66.4 million.

    Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said as of October 13, the estimated cost of damage to agriculture in Regions I, II, CAR has reached P692 million pesos.

    Some 325 houses were either destroyed or damaged in Central Luzon, Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Caraga and CAR.

    The NDRRMC also reported that 50,040 families or 194,677 persons were affected by the weather disturbance in Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Caraga and CAR, with 3,443 families or 14,909 persons still in evacuation centers.

    More than P2.7 million worth of food packs and relief aid have been provided to areas affected by Maring, the Department of Social Welfare and Development said.

    DSWD Assistant Secretary Glenda Relova, during the Laging Handa public briefing, said the P2.7 million relief assistance – P1.8 million came from the DSWD and P934,000 from the local government units (LGUs) – has been sent to Ilocos (Region I), Cagayan Valley (Region II), and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

    She said the agency still has standby funds amounting to P1.05 billion that can be tapped to augment the resources of the affected LGUs. – With Jocelyn Montemayor