P10M worth of crops lost to ‘Mina’ in Northern Cagayan—officials
BAYOMBONG, Philippines—At least P10 million worth of palay (unmilled rice) and corn in northern Cagayan were destroyed by typhoon Mina (international name: Nanmadol), local officials said in their initial assessment.
Authorities of northern Cagayan, which suffered the brunt of typhoon “Mina” on Saturday, began assessing the extent of damage in their areas, mostly on local farmers’ crops.
Mayor Carlito Pentecostes Jr. of Gonzaga, one of the towns that took a direct hit from the typhoon, said at least half of the town’s rice and corn production areas was destroyed by strong winds.
Initial reports showed that about 1,420 hectares of palay and 596 hectares of corn, estimated to be worth P10 million, were flattened by Mina’s 170 kilometer-per-hour wind when it made landfall on Saturday.
“This is severe considering most of our farmers are expected to harvest their crops starting on the first week of September,” Pentecostes said.
But officials in Batanes said the passage of Mina in the island province on Sunday was “a breeze,” even as they braced for the worst as the typhoon moved toward Taiwan.
“So far, the weather is not so bad, just a little gustiness and some rain. But looking outside my window, I have not seen a single tree branch broken,” said Batanes Governor Vicente Gato in a telephone interview from the capital, Basco, on Sunday.
Gato said the provincial disaster risk reduction and management council (PDRRMC) and its counterparts in Batanes’ towns have been busy alerting Ivatans about the typhoon.
Gato said they were closely watching communities that were forecast to take a direct hit from Mina, including Uyugan, a town of about 1,500 people in the southeastern part of Batan Island, and a number of villages in the island-town of Sabtang.
Flights to and from Basco remained canceled on Sunday, stranding travelers including judges and prosecutors who were in the northern island of Itbayat Friday for their court hearings, Gato said.
“Our people are ready. Sadly, it is our crops that aren’t,” he said, expressing concern over the expected damage that the typhoon would wreak on the province’s agriculture.
Milagros Talosig, regional action officer of the Cagayan Valley regional disaster risk reduction and management council (RDRRMC), expressed relief that no typhoon-related casualty has been reported in the region as of Sunday.
“We are thankful that Mina was not as damaging as Typhoon ‘Juan,’” she said, referring to the super-typhoon that hammered northern Luzon in October 2010.
Juan killed nine people and left about P11.3 billion in crop losses.
Reports on damage estimates in typhoon-hit areas in the region came in trickles on Sunday, as local disaster response officials took their day-off following days of preparations for the coming of Mina, Talosig said.
“This is understandable because the people who had worked overtime for days in anticipation of Mina are the same ones who will prepare the reports [on typhoon damage],” she said.
Senior Superintendent Mao Aplasca, Cagayan police director, said at least five bridges in Tuguegarao City and the towns of Peñablanca, Baggao and Tuao have been closed to traffic due to swollen rivers.
At least 530 residents from coastal villages in Gonzaga and Santa Ana towns were moved to evacuation centers on Saturday, reports from the Cagayan PDRRMC said.
Many of the evacuees returned home as soon as the weather improved on Sunday dawn.
“Some of them were worried about hogs and livestock that they left,” Mayor Pentecostes said.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Click here for more weather related news.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.