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Quezon loses P77M in crops to ‘Maring’

STARTING OVER A resident of Barangay Dos, Tibag, in Calamba City in Laguna province starts clearing debris after a flash flood caused by heavy rains dumped by Tropical Depression “Maring” hit his community. —GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

LUCENA CITY—Tropical Depression “Maring” destroyed at least P77 million worth of crops and fishery resources in Quezon province, so far the biggest storm-related damage posted by a province in Southern Luzon, a provincial official said on Thursday.

Roberto Gajo, Quezon agriculturist, said initial reports received by his office showed that rice farmers suffered the biggest blow, with P44 million in losses.

The fishery sector recorded P17 million worth of destroyed fish ponds, fishing boats and gears while at least P15 million worth of high value crops were lost to strong rains dumped by Maring.

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“We’re afraid [the amount of damage would] be more than that once we finish our assessment,” Gajo said.

“We’re preparing all kinds of assistance to affected farmers and fishers,” he said.

Maring made landfall over Quezon on Tuesday, leaving behind a child dead and several others injured. The storm displaced 5,948 families (24,309 people).

Janet Buelo, Quezon public information officer, said Gov. David Suarez had instructed all government offices and agencies to assist typhoon victims.

Death toll up

The storm-related deaths reached 10 in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) region while six people were still missing as of Thursday.

In Laguna province, siblings Franzine Jade, 3, and Eureka Jamsen Monghe, 5, drowned in Calamba City. Their 2-year-old brother, Eufracio, had yet to be found on Thursday.

Christopher Sanji, Laguna government spokesperson, said the Monghes lived in one of the 28 shanties in Purok 1, Barangay Parian, that were swept away by a flash flood early morning on Tuesday.

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“The father (Jofranz Monghe) said he tried to save the children by taking them to a neighbor, whose house has a second floor. But the current was too strong that he lost them,” said Sanji, who joined the search.

Jofranz’s wife, Jessamin, a househelp in Manila, was not around when the flash flood hit. Only Jofranz and their 12-year-old son Jojomar survived.

A search team on Thursday found the body of Eden Lacdao, 28, in Barangay Aplaya, Sta. Rosa City. Lacdao was a neighbor of the Monghes.

Relocation

Rommel Palacol of the Laguna Action Center said that aside from Eufracio, two more persons from the community in Barangay Parian remained missing.

Search operations would continue “although it is now more like just informing coastal towns about these missing people,” he said.

Palacol said the incident in Calamba City prompted a review of settlements there, especially those along riverbanks or flood and landslide prone areas.

“There are proposals for the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to investigate why these people were there in the first place. Who’s liable for this?” Palacol said.

He said the houses, made of light materials, stood near a river that rarely breached its bank.

Calamba City Mayor Justin Marc Chipeco said those who lost their homes would not be allowed to return to their villages and would be given priority in the government’s relocation program.

“Actually, even before (Maring), we’ve been planning already to relocate them. I was already in talks with the NHA (National Housing Authority),” Chipeco said in a text message.

Two persons from Cavite and four from Rizal also died due to landslides and flash floods, reports from the Calabarzon Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council showed.

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TAGS: storm-related damage, Tropical Depression Maring
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