Laguna under state of calamity after ‘Maring’ leaves P18-M in damage
Published: 1:54 p.m., Sept. 13, 2017 | Updated: 11:22 p.m., Sept. 13, 2017
Provinces in Southern Luzon experienced improved weather condition on Wednesday, a day after Tropical Depression “Maring” dumped heavy rains, triggering widespread flooding that displaced thousands of residents.
Laguna province, however, bore the brunt of the storm, with the provincial government reporting road and infrastructure damage at P12 million and crop losses at P6.7 million.
This prompted Laguna officials to declare the province under a state of calamity so the provincial government could access its calamity fund to help storm victims.
Rommel Palacol of the Laguna Action Center said Maring dumped “too much rainfall” that caused flash floods and landslides.
The bodies of two missing children were found in rivers in Calamba City on Wednesday, bringing to seven the total number of storm-related fatalities in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) region, and Metro Manila.
Some 1,627 families in Laguna evacuated to schools and barangay halls.
A report from the Laguna police said the body of Lawrence Murillo, 14, from Barangay Mapagong in Calamba, was recovered at 6 a.m. on Wednesday along the San Cristobal River.
At 11 a.m., local officials found the body of Eureka Jamsen Mina Monghe, 5, in a river in Barangay Palingon.
Murillo and Monghe were among the six people who were reported missing after their house was swept away by strong river current in Barangay Parian.
It was not clear how Monghe and Murillo were related but the Laguna Action Center earlier said they lived in the same house.
Palacol said rescuers continued searching for the remaining victims.
In Quezon province, John Carlo Valle, 12, was electrocuted while crossing a flooded area in Tiaong town on Tuesday afternoon. His death, however, was not classified as storm-related, according to Henry Buzar, Quezon disaster risk reduction and management council officer.
A report from the Quezon police said Valle was negotiating a flooded pathway on his bicycle when he was electrocuted in Barangay Talisay, at 1 p.m. He died while being taken to Peter Paul Hospital in nearby Candelaria town.
Police said the electric wire was snapped by a fallen tree and left submerged in floodwaters.
According to Malacañang, the government has about P650-million worth of relief goods and funds ready for victims of Maring.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said national agencies were on standby to help storm victims in the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog and Bicol regions, and Metro Manila.
“The national government, through our frontline disaster response agencies, remains on standby to respond and assist victims of Tropical Depression Maring,” Abella said in a statement.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported that 2,103 families were affected by the storm.
Abella said 1,857 families were staying in 116 evacuation centers.
The DSWD has a total of 196,896 family food packs on stock and P577.7 million in standby funds, Abella said.
The Department of Health (DOH), he said, had prepositioned about P20-million worth of supplies and funds in Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, and Bicol.
The DOH also has about P50-million worth of supplies and funds ready at the agency’s central office in Manila, Abella said.
In a press conference, Romina Marasigan, spokesperson for the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), defended the agency from social media bashers and 1-Ang Edukasyon Rep. Salvador Belaro Jr.’s criticism that “something is wrong with the NDRRMC and the DRRMC.”
“When will we ever learn,” Belaro said in a statement, noting that there were several cities and villages that were unprepared when the storm hit Luzon.
Marasigan said the NDRRMC had been giving sufficient emergency alert and warning messages.
“The NDRRMC will give you warnings. We cannot police every household, that’s why we have to empower our communities. Much as we would like to be there and lead you all to safety, let’s try to do our share,” Marasigan said. —Reports from Maricar Cinco, Delfin T. Mallari Jr., Philip C. Tubeza and Nikko Dizon
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