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Death toll up to 13, agri damage at P692M in storm Maring’s aftermath

TEAMS composed of the Philippine Coast Guard, police and local emergency responders deliver relief goods to residents in remote areas in Buguey, Cagayan who were affected by typhoon Maring. — PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD

THE DEATH toll from severe tropical storm Maring, with international name Kompasu, climbed to 13 as of Wednesday with 11 others missing and three injured, the national disaster management council reported.

The disaster agency said it was still validating reports but local authorities have confirmed at least 11 deaths with four in Palawan, four in Benguet, two in Ilocos Sur, and one in Cagayan.

Search and rescue operations were continuing for those reported missing mostly after landslides.

A total of 107 areas across several regions were flooded while more than 10 landslide incidents were recorded, according to the disaster agency.

Relief operations were also underway with more than 11,500 people displaced and staying either in evacuation centers or with relatives.

Agricultural damage has reached P692 million, affecting 32,390 farmers and fisherfolk, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

In a bulletin released on Wednesday afternoon, the DA said the storm struck 36,537 hectares of farm land, resulting in 43,984 metric tons (MT) of lost produce such as rice, corn and other high-value crops.

Affected areas span across the regions of Cordillera, Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Bicol, and Western Visayas.

Losses in rice crops accounted for majority of the damage at P498.1 million, equivalent to 30,183 MT. Damage to corn reached P119.8 million, with 7,710 MT lost.

Damaged high value crops, including assorted vegetables, bananas and strawberries, was estimated at P56.1 million.

The DA said it is providing a quick response fund of P172 million to help restore the affected areas as well as seeds and drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry.

The department is also extending emergency loans of up to P20,000 for each farmer with zero interest and no collateral, payable in 10 years.

Road clearing operations were also ongoing but 15 road sections were still impassable as of Wednesday morning, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways, with 11 in Cordillera, two in Ilocos, and one each in Cagayan Valley and Central Visayas.

Maring, the 13th typhoon in the country this year, entered on Oct. 7 as a tropical depression. It absorbed the remnants of a succeeding typhoon named Nando and intensified into a severe tropical storm, packing winds of up to 100 kilometers per hour (kms/h) and gustiness of up to 125 kms/h. It exited the Philippine area on Oct. 12. — with a report from Angelica Y. Yang

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