BAGUIO CITY – The provincial boards of Abra, Apayao, Benguet and Mountain Province recently declared their provinces under a state of calamity due to heavy damages inflicted by the onslaught of Tropical Storm Ineng in most parts of Northern Luzon over the weekend.
Based on the latest updates from the Cordillera office of the Civil Defense (OCD-CAR), The region suffered 21 deaths all because of landslides while 11 people, mostly miners from Taneg, Mankayan remain missing. 6 people were reported injured at the height of the weather disturbance that extended up to early Monday morning.
Andrew Alex Uy, OCD-CAR regional director, said Benguet recorded the highest number of fatalities with 16 followed by Mountain Province with 3 while Abra and Kalinga recorded one death each, both due to drowning.
He said 7 of the 16 deaths recorded in Benguet came from sitio Elizabeth, Mankayan town after a huge landslide buried seven shanties being temporarily used by small-scale miners as their shelter when going to work.
Superintendent Jonathan G. Calixto, commanding officer of the Benguet Provincial Public Safety Company, said the search and rescue operations for the remaining 9 individuals remains to be treacherous and challenging because of the huge boulders and unstable mud that were stocked on a 250-meter stretch of the small-scale mining community.
Calixto cited rescuers are now using explosives in order to clear the huge rocks that impede the smooth conduct of their operations while several K-9 dogs from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have been deployed in the place to help in the on-going operations over the past seven days.
It was learned that there are some 500 rescuers who are taking turns in locating the whereabouts of the missing mine workers over the past seven days,.
The recovered bodies of miners from various areas were named as Crispin Ablao, Felimon Adcapan, Armando Dayao, Jasper Olivares, Efren Balicdan, Nardo Mocnangan and the latest to be recovered was Marvin Collado Baturi, 31 and a native of Dipaculaw, Aurora.
Uy revealed some 26,512 families composed of 129, 358 individuals regionwide were affected by the typhoon but only 983 families composed of 15,229 individuals were evacuated to the identified evacuation centers in the different provinces.
He added partial reports from the provinces showed there were 112 houses that were totally damaged while some 666 houses were partially damaged regioonwide.
In terms of damaged to infrastructure, Engr. Edilberto P. Carabbacan, regional director of the Cordillera office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-CAR), reported that some P156.7 million worth of damages were inflicted to the different national roads while P459.36 million worth of damages to local roads were initially reported to the OCD-CAR.
In terms of damage to national and communal irrigation systems with the Upper Chico River Irrigation System in Kalinga registering the biggest damage at nearly P200 million after its main irrigation canal was heavily damaged due to the weather disturbance.
On the region’s agriculture, the Cordillera office of the Department of Agriculture (DA-CAR) reported that over P390 million worth of crops on their flowering, vegetative and harvestable stages were destroyed regionwide while additional data has yet to be submitted based on the final reports from the provinces.
In terms of damage to the region’s power industry, the region sustained some P52.8 million worth of damages to electrical poles, wires, transmission and distribution facilities.
In terms of extended assistance, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) shelled out at least P1.1 million worth of food provisions to the affected families while local governments had a consolidated assistance of P78,000.
The declaration of a state of calamity would allow local governments heavily affected by the typhoon to initially use its available disaster risk reduction and management funds for emergency purposes while awaiting the aid from the national government.