Typhoon-hit Philippine province under state of calamity
Published on: Friday, May 22, 2020
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The flooded town centre of Las Navas.
TACLOBAN CITY: The Northern Samar provincial government placed the entire province under a state of calamity due to the devastation left by Typhoon Ambo.

In a meeting held Wednesday, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) chaired by Governor Edwin Ongchuan and the provincial council approved the declaration.

The PDRRMC strongly recommended the declaration after fierce winds and massive flooding spawned by Ambo destroyed houses displacing thousands of families. The most affected are the towns of Las Navas, Catubig, and Lapinig.

Initial report from the rapid damage assessment and needs analysis presented by PDRRM officer Rei Josiah Echano showed around 128,034 families or 521,203 individuals have been affected the wrath of Ambo in the province.

The agriculture sector recorded at least PHP132 million worth of damage while public infrastructure incurred PHP127.2 million losses.

“Governor Ongchuan also requested a meeting with the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and the local chief executives of Catubig and Las Navas towns to discuss measures and other long-term actions to protect the community from adverse effects of flooding brought by typhoons,” Echano said in a statement on Thursday.

No fatality was reported but 26 people sustained minor injuries during the height of the typhoon.

The provincial government will realign a total of PHP110 million budget to fund its recovery efforts.

The local government will still need the assistance of various national government agencies to fund their recovery programs especially those intended for farmers badly affected by the typhoon, according to Echano.

The provincial leaders have also requested aid from the Department of Agriculture to support the livelihood of affected farmers in the province.

Northern Samar is the second province to declare a state of calamity after Eastern Samar.

On May 19, the Eastern Samar provincial government has placed on Tuesday the nine towns in the province under a state of calamity due to destruction caused by Typhoon Ambo.

These towns are Sulat, Taft, Can-avid, Dolores, Maslog, Oras, San Policarpo, Arteche, and Jipapad where flash floods destroyed houses and livelihoods of thousands of residents.


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