As the sun started to filter through the weekend clouds in northern Philippines, officials reported a trail of 15 deaths and millions of damage to agriculture and infrastructure in Cagayan when Super Typhoon “Lawin” slammed into Cagayan Valley and the Cordillera Administrative Region.
National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Executive Director Ricardo Jalad told radio dzBB in an interview that many of the fatalities were killed in separate landslides in CAR, sandwiched by the Caraballo and the Ilocos mountain ranges.
The NDRRMC has placed the initial cost of damage to agriculture and infrastructure at P657.8 million.
Two more, an old man and a member of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit, were also killed in Isabela, a catch basin province which sits on the banks of the mighty Cagayan River.
Jalad said only nine of the fatalities have been validated by the NDRRMC.
Meanwhile, Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba, who has placed his province under a state of calamity, pleaded for help from the national government and the private sector to help his province recover from the unprecedented devastation.
Mamba said it would take several months for the province, which came under typhoon signal number 5 like adjoining Isabela, to recover from the weather pillage without the help of the national government.
He said that almost all of the houses in the province, particularly in Tuguegarao City and Gonzaga town farther north, were destroyed by the super typhoon.
“Lawin,” which left four people killed in the towns of Igig, Solana and Baggao, slammed into Cagayan late Wednesday with more than 200 kms per hour winds, crossing parts of Luzon north of Manila before exiting the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Thursday.
In its bulletin issued 8 a.m. Saturday, the NDRRMC said the super typhoon displaced 143,531 people or 28,710 families in Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Bicol and CAR.
It said 92,002 people remained in evacuation centers and the rest are staying outside evacuation shelters.
Cagayan province bore the brunt of the super typhoon, where hundreds of houses, business establishments and government offices were damaged.
The NDRRMC said 1,327 houses were damaged by the super typhoon in Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and CAR.
At least 11 towns in Cagayan remained without power supply as of Saturday morning.
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