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Monday, July 15, 2024

Marcos orders intensified response, efforts to aid Aghon-hit Filipinos

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Typhoon Aghon took the lives of six (6) people, said Edgar Posadas, the spokesperson for the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), on Tuesday.

Based on OCD’s report, however, only one of the six fatalities have been verified as of press time.

According to PAGASA’s 5 p.m. update on Monday, five provinces remained under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1 as Aghon moved northeastward from Luzon.

These are: Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela, Aurora, Quezon including Polillo Islands, and Camarines Norte.

At around 4 p.m. the estimated location of the eye of the storm was 155 kms east southeast of Casiguran, Aurora. It packed maximum sustained winds of 140 kms per hour near the center.

The PAGASA report pegged the storm’s gustiness up to 170 kms per hour, with central pressure of 965 hPa.

Aghon is generally moving northeastward over the Philippine Sea and will be leaving the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) by Wednesday afternoon or evening.

In response to the typhoon on Tuesday, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. ordered a whole-of-government response to aid recovery efforts following Typhoon Aghon, before departing to visit Brunei Darussalam and Singapore this week.

In his departure speech, the President instructed the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Agriculture (DA), and Department of Health (DOH) to provide comprehensive assistance and medical support to affected areas.

He also gave the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Department of Transportation (DOTr) the task of rapidly restoring infrastructure and transportation facilities damaged by the storm.

Citing official government data, Mr. Marcos said Calabarzon, Bicol, Western, Central and Eastern Visayas regions were struck, with at least 12,043 families or 26,726 individuals affected. Also, three airports and 29 seaports became non-operational due to the typhoon.

The DSWD has distributed P1.35 million in aid, with P607.9 million on standby.

The Chief Executive also highlighted the preparation of 841 search and rescue teams, 465 transportation assets, and 436 emergency telecommunications units.

“Before the typhoon even arrived, we already placed relief goods near the expected path of the typhoon so they are all ready when it hits,” Mr. Marcos said.

“So, as soon as our forces, our DSWD, our Coast Guard, our search and rescue teams get in, all our assets can enter immediately because we were prepared since the typhoon arrived,” the President added.

Editor’s Note: This is an updated article. Originally posted with the headline “President Marcos on Tuesday ordered a whole-of-government response to aid recovery efforts following Typhoon Aghon, before departing to visit Brunei Darussalam and Singapore this week.

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