‘Nina’ damage exceeds P5b

TYPHOON “Nina” (international name: “Nock-Ten”) caused at least P5.3 billion in damage to crops and P83.4 million in infrastructure in Marinduque and Oriental Mindoro, disaster officials said Wednesday.

The powerful typhoon also displaced 132,908 families or more than 600,000 people from 785 barangays, forcing them to seek shelter in 145 schools, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.

Tens of thousands remained in evacuation centers Wednesday morning.

Some P29.8 million worth of food and non-food assistance and P1.17 million in medicine and medical supplies have been distributed to typhoon victims.

Typhoon "Nina" (international name: “Nock-Ten”). File photo
The provinces of Catanduanes and Camarines Sur, where “Nina” made its first and second landfall, bore the brunt of the typhoon.

Assessments of the full extent of the damage were underway as the typhoon made its way out of the Philippines on Tuesday night after making eight landfalls. The NDRRMC has asked international NGOs and the private sector to wait for the results of the government’s assessment of damage and needs before offering aid to avoid duplication.

Oxfam and its local NGO partners —the Citizens’ Disaster Response Center and the Humanitarian Response Consortium—have sent teams to Catanduanes and Camarines Sur to conduct joint assessments with the government.

“Along with our partners, we are closely coordinating with the national government, local authorities, UN agencies and other humanitarian actors to assess needs on the ground in the aftermath of the storm, and possibly collaborate on aid delivery,” said Oxfam acting Country Director Dante Dalabajan.

“Oxfam recognizes the government’s leading role in responding to the needs of typhoon survivors. We are ready to provide support if needed and requested,” he added.

Typhoon “Nina” reportedly killed at least four people, and left 19 missing from a boat that sank off the coast of Batangas province, some 80 kilometers south of Manila.

The typhoon brought strong winds and heavy rains, cutting power and communication lines. In the province of Catanduanes alone, Gov. Joseph Cua said up to 70 percent of electric posts were knocked down. The government hopes to restore electricity by New Year.

Senator Grace Poe on Wednesday urged public utility companies to help restore essential services in areas affected by the typhoon.

Poe, chairperson of the Senate public services committee, said the much-needed assistance from companies such as Meralco, PLDT, Smart and Globe is crucial to help restore power in affected areas and aid the government in extending relief. 

Their support, the senator added, is vital in enabling residents to contact their loved ones.

“I urge our public utility companies to make this part of their corporate social responsibility efforts which would be most timely and meaningful to our kababayans now more than at any other time,” said Poe.

The NDRRMC reported that 114 areas in Regions IV-A (Calabarzon), IV-B (Mimaropa) and V experienced power interruptions since Dec. 25, the day the typhoon made landfall in Catanduanes province. Eleven power lines in the said regions are still cut off. Communications in several provinces were also affected, the NDRRMC said.

The Energy department assured the public that power will be restored in all areas affected by the typhoon by January. 

Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella told reporters that the agency is closely monitoring the restoration status of the damaged transmission and distribution lines.

“NGCP is mobilizing 400 people on the ground [for the restoration] and to construct the energy registration system,” he said, referring to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.

Fuentebella said the department is also coordinating with the National Electrification Administration for the restoration of affected electric cooperatives and distribution companies.

“One hundred percent of commercial areas should have power before New Year’s Day. Areas like Daet, Libmanan, Naga, Iriga, Legazpi, Sorsogon, Tabaco,” Fuentabella said.

Grid operator National Grid said a contingent of around 500 line personnel, coming from its North Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao Operations and Maintenance groups, were deployed to the Bicol Region.

“The target is to restore energy before the end of the year but of course, we are endeavoring to make that happen before that,” National Grid spokeswoman Cynthia Perez-Alabanza said.

About 581 transmission structures were affected by typhoon Nina, many of them 230 kV lines. 

Topics: Typhoon "Nina" , Marinduque , Oriental Mindoro , National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council , Typhoon "Nina" victims , Catanduanes , Camarines Sur , Bicol region
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