‘Pedring’ death toll hits 43; damage over P4BPhilippine Daily Inquirer
The nationwide death toll from Typhoon “Pedring” has climbed to 43, including 17 children. At least 44 others were reported injured and 30 still missing.
The highest number of deaths occurred in Central Luzon with 20, followed by the National Capital Region with 6, and Mimaropa (Region 4-B) with 5.
Palay losses in Central Luzon, the country’s “rice granary,” has exceeded P4 billion even as the full extent of damage wrought by Pedring is still unfolding.
Damage to agriculture in Central Luzon has reached P4,191,682,964, according to official reports reaching the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council on Friday.
Of the amount, palay losses accounted for P4,041,178,177.
Damage to corn and other crops in the region reached P57 million, and damage to livestock (including fisheries), P93 million.
Worst hit province
Among the provinces in Central Luzon, Nueva Ecija was the worst hit in terms of damage.
Nueva Ecija has so far estimated at least P2.9 billion in palay losses, followed by the provinces of Tarlac with P384 million; Bulacan, P348 million; Bataan, P317 milion; Zambales, P152 million; and Aurora, P57 million.
Bulacan was the worst hit in terms of the number of affected population, with nearly 760,000 persons (or about 163,800 families) whose lives, homes or sources of livelihood were put in peril by Pedring.
In the entire region, about 1.5 million persons (or about 334,000 families) were affected.
Overall infrastructure damage in the affected regions has exceeded half a billion pesos.
Damage to roads and bridges was placed at P438 million. Damage to schools was placed at P108 million, the bulk of which are in Central Luzon.
Rice lands worst hit
Pedring’s damage to agriculture has reached P1.02 billion, with rice lands taking the brunt of the destruction.
Initial reports from the Department of Agriculture (DA) showed that the typhoon destroyed a total of 93,168 hectares of farmlands.
Of that number, 90,528 hectares of agricultural lands have a chance of recovery, it said.
About 80,000 hectares of rice paddies (representing 50,178 metric tons of rice) were ruined by Pedring, which carried 15-25 millimeters of rains per hour. The DA said most of the rice that was ruined was nearly ready for harvest.
Of that number, 2,640 hectares were wiped out. The total value of damaged rice lands has been pegged at P857,456.16, the DA said.
Corn crops fared better than rice, with only 12,657 hectares affected by the typhoon. As of yesterday, all corn lands still has a chance of recovery, the DA said.
P21-M relief aid
The government has released P21 million worth of relief assistance to Pedring’s victims, who continue to suffer its wrath, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Another P3.9 million has been released to serve as standby funds in northern Luzon, Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon for the purchase of relief supplies, the DSWD said in a statement.
It said P2.7 million worth of food packs, blankets, plastic mats and used clothing had been brought to its regional offices.
The DSWD is also helping fast-track the distribution of 10,000 sacks of rice from the National Food Authority to the Bicol region.
Rapid assessment teams have been sent to evacuation centers to check on the condition of families displaced by floods.
Per the latest figures from the DSWD, 439 evacuation centers are hosting 30,751 displaced families. Reports from Dona Z. Pazzibugan, Kristine L. Alave and Leila B. Salaverria