Wednesday, October 8, 2014

‘Super Mario’ leaves millions in damages in Laoag, Batac

San Nicolas reports ‘manageable’ damages


By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

Laoag City – Typhoon ‘Mario’ [Fung wong], rechristened “Super Mario” by local netizens, left millions of pesos in damages in the province’s two cities.

With storm warning signal no. 2 raised over Ilocos Norte, “Mario” left damages in agriculture, infrastructure and forced hundreds of families to flee their homes.

Here in Laoag, city agriculturist Oscar Recta reported total estimated damages P26,296,025, broken down as P23,539,500 damages on rice; P1,247,275 on vegetables; P273,750 on fruit bearing trees; P735,500 on fishery and P500,000 infrastructure at the city government’s breeding station.

Mr. Recta said he also submitted the damage report to the provincial and national government so they could assist the city in the rehabilitation program for the affected sector.

City social welfare and services officer Aurora Corpuz meanwhile reported that 44 barangays were affected. Specifically she said 1,325 families were affected or 6,247 persons, with 222 families evacuated.

Ms. Corpuz said the goods distributed to the affected families in the different barangays as relief goods were rice, sardines, noodles, candles, coffee and matches.

Ms. Corpuz thanked private individuals and establishments who gave donations during the height of the typhoon.

The CSWDO also reported a total of 56 partially damaged houses, two houses totally damages. One casualty at Brgy. Casili and one injured at Brgy. Balacad was also reported.

For the livestock damages, city veterinary officer Dr. Arthur Cabello reported poultry houses were totally destroyed at Brgy. Darayday, with a total of at least 11,000 chickens died. One cattle also reportedly died in a different barangay. The livestock damages were estimated at P1,250,000.

City health officer Dr. Renato Mateo identified the typhoon casualty as Maria Corpuz of Brgy. Casili. He said local health workers assisted the victim. He explained that the victim was cleaning her house while typhoon was pummeling the city. She accidentally slipped and her head hit a hard surface resulting in a fractured skull which caused her death.

Mr. Mateo also said that the city health workers regularly checked evacuation centers.

Meanwhile, city engineering office OIC Fred Agpaoa reported infrastructure damages included school buildings, public buildings, roads and bridges and the breeding station at the city agriculture office. The Laoag City Gen. Hospital overhead tank was also destroyed but was immediately rehabilitated.

Mr. Agpaoa said his office has conducted clearing operations in the city roads and streets as well as extending assistance to the different barangays who needed help.

The total infrastructure damage was pegged at P18,475,000.  

City budget officer Carlina Cumigad stated that the 30 percent from the 5 percent calamity fund of the city government was released for the purpose of relief and rehabilitation after the declaration of the entire province under a state of calamity.     

Batac also incurs millions in damages
In Batac City, councilor and committee on agriculture chairperson Violeta Daradar-Nalupta estimated the damages on rice at P9 million. She stressed that the damages for this year is much lower compared to past years since a drought earlier affected the planting timetable of Batac farmers.

Other agriculture damages in Batac were estimated as P6 million for high value commercial crops, P219,600 for corn, and P271,000 in livestock.

Ms. Nalupta is thankful some Batac farmers had their crops insured in case of calamities.

She added that the Batac government with the help of the provincial government is trying to provide immediate remedies to the damages wrought by the typhoon.

San Nicolas escapes heavy damages
In San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte, town mayor Melanie Grace Valdez expressed her gratitude their municipality fared a little better in terms of damages.

She also apologized to her town mates as she was stranded along with her group in Ilocos Sur at the height of the typhoon.

Ms. Valdez and her entourage went to Baguio City to receive an award on Sept. 20 but they tried to return home immediately after receiving reports that typhoon “Mario” was bounding down Ilocos Norte.

Based on reports she received, there was one house with its entire roof blown away and 15 other partially damaged houses.

Ms. Valdez said the San Nicolas disaster and engineering workers immediately set out on clearing operation in the town’s highway and roads.

What affected the town most, she said was the flooding, which she admitted has become usual whenever there is a heavy downpour.

To correct this, the municipal government has allocated an amount for the improvement of their integrated drainage system and purchase of more equipment to deal with the flooding.

The total estimated damages for agriculture in San Nicolas was pegged at P2 million though Ms. Valdez said her office is still collating reports from other barangays.

She added that relief goods were also immediately dispatched to affected barangays.

As for infrastructure damages, the neophyte mayor said only San Nicolas Central Elem. School’s roof was affected but a fund is already available for its repair and rehabilitation.

Meanwhile, Brgy. 11 (San Fernando) officials, also in this town, also distributed relief goods from their own calamity fund. They dispatched relief goods to all of the barangay’s households.

Typhoon ‘Luis’ benefits Laoag, Batac farmers
IF typhoon “Mario” was destructive, typhoon “Luis” [Kalmaegi] which hit the province a week earlier, was mostly beneficial to the farmers of the two cities in the province. The benefit however was short-lived after the next typhoon devastated the province.

Though generally beneficial, “Luis” still destroyed fish cages in nine barangays in Laoag’s southwest corridor.

In Batac, Mr. Nalupta said the damages brought by “Luis” only affected their harvestable banana fruits.

Mr. Nalupta added that Batac is in the process of upgrading their technology in information dissemination, especially on advisories and warning during emergency situations.

Last August, the Batac government distributed handheld radio communicator to city’s 43 barangays. They intend to acquire the same for all of the barangay tanods in the city by next month.


Mr. Nalupta also disclosed that they plan to put up a Batac Emergency Command Center at the city-owned Government Center. The project would also serve as training center for volunteer emergency responders and evacuation center for calamity victims.

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