Typhoon “Tisoy” did P1.93 billion in damage to agriculture, officials said Thursday, more than doubling their initial estimates.
The Department of Agriculture said the powerful typhoon damaged 47.639 hectares of farmland in Calabarzon, the Bicol region, Central Luzon, Mimaropa and Western Visayas, resulting in production losses of 106,525 metric tons of rice, corn, and high-value crops, affecting 20,830 farmers.
Livestock and agri-facilities were also affected.
The Agriculture department has readied intervention kits for distribution to affected farmers and fishermen in the Bicol region, setting aside P181 million for relief, credit, and seedlings.
Regional field offices still have reserves of 76,060 bags of rice seeds, 14,672 bags of corn seeds and 322 bags of high-value crops seeds for distribution to affected farmers.
The number of people killed by Typhoon Tisoy pounding hit 13, officials said Thursday, as authorities confirmed reports of storm-related deaths.
Tisoy’s fierce winds toppled trees and flattened flimsy homes across a swathe of the nation’s north on Tuesday, and forced a rare 12-hour shutdown of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Authorities said on Wednesday one person had drowned while three died after being hit by trees and flying objects.
Disaster officials did not offer details on how the other victims died, but local police reports indicated some may have drowned or been crushed by trees.
Mark Timbal, spokesman for the national disaster agency, said no new bodies have been found but the death toll could rise as reports on the ground are verified.
“There is the possibility of an increase in the number, but we are hoping against it,” Timbal said.
Hundreds of thousands of people living in exposed or low-lying areas were evacuated from their homes before Tisoy made landfall late Monday, which authorities said had saved lives.
Still the storm-damaged 135 schools and destroyed nearly 1,200 homes, with crop damage in the hardest-hit areas estimated to reach nearly $16 million.
President Rodrigo Duterte was scheduled to visit on Thursday the Bicol region, a peninsula south of Manila that was hit hard by the typhoon.
NAIA was closed half of Tuesday as a precaution, affecting over 500 flights, while roughly half the day’s program at the Southeast Asian Games, hosted by Manila and nearby cities, had to be postponed.
Oriental Mindoro declared a state of calamity in the province.
The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines began restoration work on 19 towers and 281 transmission structures damaged by typhoon Tisoy.
NGCP has so far fully restored transmission services to the provinces of Batangas, Laguna, Camarines Norte, and Eastern Samar. Transmission services to Quezon Electric Cooperative 2, serving portions of Quezon Province, were also completely restored.
Other areas are expected to be restored from Dec. 8 to 15.
Meanwhile, authorities cautioned the public against a syndicate soliciting financial help for the victims of Typhoon Tisoy. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines discovered that unscrupulous individuals are using the name of CAAP director general Capt. Jim Sydiongco to solicit donations supposedly for the affected families. With Alena Mae S. Flores, Joel E. Zurbano, and AFP
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