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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

‘Egay’ toll rises to 6 as it exits PAR; President vows more aid to victims

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WATERWORLD. Residents of Abulug in Cagayan are stranded on the roofs of their houses after the Cagayan River overflowed amid heavy rains brought by Typhoon Egay on Wednesday and Thursday. Meanwhile, in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, rescuers evacuate residents and their pets as local officials reminded them to not leave their animals behind. PDRRMO, Mayor Michael Keon FB Page

The death toll from a typhoon in the northern Philippines has risen to six, official figures showed Thursday, as the storm swept towards southeastern China.

Before leaving Kuala Lumpur for Manila at the end of his three-day state visit to Malaysia, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. vowed that aid will be provided to the victims of Typhoon Egay, including those farmers whose crops have been damaged.

“Yes, we have been watching over this, at this point, a lot of houses have been damaged, a lot of property flooded away,” Mr. Marcos told the Philippine media delegation.

“Some areas had just been planted (with crops), so we have to find out what are the areas that were ruined to we can help the farmers recover and salvage this crop season,” added the President, who is concurrent Agriculture Secretary.

Strong winds and heavy rain pummeled the lightly populated Babuyan islands and northern provinces, triggering flooding and landslides.

A mother and her three children were killed Wednesday morning when a landslide struck their house in Buguias municipality in the mountainous province of Benguet, local disaster official Satur Payangdo said.

Five other people in the house were rescued.

That took the death toll to six after a woman was killed by a falling coconut tree in Isabela province and a 16-year-old boy was crushed to death by a landslide in Baguio city.

Egay had been a super typhoon as it swept across the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday but weakened as it neared the Philippines.

At 10 a.m. Thursday, Egay was estimated at 255 kilometers west of Itbayat, Batanes, packing maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers per hour near the center and 185 kph gusts, the state weather bureau said.

In the next three days, the habagat or monsoon enhanced by Egay would continue to bring occasional rains over the western portions of Central Luzon and Southern Luzon, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.

It kept wind signal 2 raised over Batanes, the northwestern portion of Cagayan (Claveria, Santa Praxedes) including Babuyan Islands, and the northern portion of Ilocos Norte (Pagudpud, Adams, Bangui, Dumalneg, Burgos).

Structures made of light materials could be partially damaged or unroofed in these areas, while most banana plants and some trees could be broken, PAGASA said.

Signal 1 was raised over Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Sur, the rest of Ilocos Norte, the rest of Cagayan, Apayao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Abra, Benguet, Isabela, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, the northern portion of Aurora (Casiguran, Dinalungan, Dilasag), the northern part of Nueva Ecija (Cuyapo, Guimba, Pantabangan, Science City of Muñoz, Carranglan, San Jose City, Lupao, Nampicuan, Talugtug), and the northern portion of Tarlac (Paniqui, Moncada, Pura, Camiling, Ramos, San Manuel, Anao, San Clemente).

Thousands of passengers were stranded in ports nationwide due to ‘Egay’.

Strong winds brought by typhoon Egay damaged structures in Aparri, Cagayan.

Meanwhile, a low-pressure area (LPA) outside the Philippine area intensified into a tropical depression on Thursday morning, PAGASA said.

At 10 a.m., the new cyclone was spotted 1,585 kilometers east of Eastern Visayas, packing 55 kph maximum sustained winds and 70 kph gusts, the weather agency said.

It may enter PAR on Saturday evening or Sunday morning as a typhoon and will be called “Falcon.”

While it is not expected to directly hit the country, the cyclone will enhance the “habagat,” which could bring more rain in parts of Luzon and the Visayas, PAGASA weather specialist Benison Estareja said.

Damage and losses to agriculture due to Typhoon Egay have been estimated at P53.1 million as of Thursday noon, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

A DA report said 2,303 farmers were affected by Egay, reflecting a production loss of 1,871 metric tons (MT).

The latest figures were a significant jump from the P255,000 in damage and losses reported as of 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 26.

The biggest damage was recorded in corn, with 1,176 hectares affected. This translated to a volume loss of 1,837 MT, equivalent to P31.1 million in losses.

Rice damage came to P20.8 million and livestock and poultry losses were placed at P1.2 million.

The DA said assistance is currently available for distribution to affected farmers and fishermen, including rice, corn, assorted vegetable seeds, drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry, and fingerling assistance.

Typhoon Egay has left 27 road sections in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley Region, and Central Luzon impassable.

Meanwhile, massive flooding in Cagayan trapped some residents on roofs as floods ravaged parts of the province on Thursday.

In photos sent by Cagayan’s disaster office, severe flooding persisted in the aftermath of the typhoon, leading residents of Abulug town to transfer to higher ground such as the roofs of their homes while waiting to be rescued.

Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba said Wednesday that Cagayan’s “rivers are now swelling.”

“That is why we’re expecting flooding along the Cagayan River and its tributaries,” he said.

“This will not end with the super typhoon… we still have to address the swelling of the Cagayan River and that of the Abulug River.”

A major part of Baguio City had no power as of Wednesday night due to typhoon Egay, a local disaster official said.

City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office officer Louie Glenn Lardizabal said the loss of electricity in parts of the city started Tuesday night.

The typhoon also triggered 11 landslides and eight incidents of soil erosion, as well as the rise in water level in some waterways, Lardizabal told Teleradyo Serbisyo. It also knocked down trees and caused some temporary road closures.

Up to 109 families or 513 people have evacuated for their safety.

Lardizabal said three evacuation centers were operational in the city.

He said the local government will continue to monitor landslide-prone areas in the city.

Some major roads in Metro Manila were still submerged in flood as Typhoon Egay continued to bring heavy rains to the country’s capital region.

In Valenzuela City, heavy downpours triggered gutter-deep floods on G. Lazaro Street, Arkong Bato, Daladanan, and MacArthur Highway.

Floods estimated to be 3-5 inches deep were recorded along C3 road and Dagat-Dagatan road in Malabon City.

No floods were recorded in Caloocan and Quezon City but both cities were battered with strong winds and moderate to heavy rains overnight.

All affected areas are still passable to all kinds of vehicles.

PAGASA earlier lifted the typhoon wind signal warning in Metro Manila but is still advising everyone to prepare for possible floods, especially in low-lying areas due to occasional rains expected throughout the day.

Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez has called for calm amid the devastation brought by Typhoon Egay to many provinces in Northern Luzon, saying that the national government will do everything in its power to provide assistance to typhoon victims.

“We have already raised funds for relief, and we are trying to raise more. We expressed gratitude to all first responders. What is important is we help bring back the lives of victims to normalcy,” he said.

The fundraising efforts initiated by Romualdez and Tingog Party-list led by Reps. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez and Jude Acidre have already reached P128.5 million in relief goods and financial assistance.

Of the amount, P23.5 million raised comes from Romualdez’s personal calamity fund, raised partly from contributions from friends during his birthday celebration last year.

The other P105 million will come from the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program under Secretary Rex Gatchalian.

Airlines have canceled 22 more flights due to bad weather, the Manila International Airport Authority reported on Thursday.

Affected by the unfavorable weather condition brought on by Typhoon Egay were six Philippine Airlines (PAL) Express flights to and from Laoag and Basco, and four flights of Cebu Pacific Air (CEB) and its sister airline CebGo going to and from Masbate.

Also suspended on Thursday were 10 flights of Air Swift to and from El Nido and two flights going to and from Romblon.

Eight other PAL flights to and from Laoag scheduled on Friday and Saturday were also suspended, the airline management said.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), flight operations at Laoag International Airport are still suspended.

“The damaged portion of the ceiling at the airport’s domestic pre-departure area is still under repair,” said CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio.

PAL also canceled four international flights, also scheduled on Friday (July 28). Canceled were flights PR-330 and PR-331 (Manila-Xiamen-Manila), and flights PR-356 and PR-357 (Manila-Jinjiang-Manila). – With AFP

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