By SHERWIN DE VERA
BAGUIO CITY — Non-stop and heavy rains brought by the Southwest monsoon last week compelled two Ilocos provinces to declare a ‘state of calamity’. Plagued by widespread flooding and landslides, the provincial governments of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) and Ilocos Sur (PGIS) put the provinces under said status on August 25 and 28 respectively.
The declaration provides utilization of the local government’s calamity fund to respond to the needs of the affected communities.
Ilocos Sur Governor Ryan Singson called a joint executive and legislative meeting on Tuesday, August 28, to study the situation and take the appropriate actions. In the meeting, he asked the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to make the necessary legislation to put the province under a ‘state of calamity’ to facilitate tighter response and immediate assistance to the affected communities.
On the same day, the board unanimously enacted and approved Resolution No. 109-XVIII Series of 2018. The resolution attributed the current state of the province to “Typhoons ‘Luis’ and ‘Maymay’ intensifying ‘Habagat’.”
According to the document, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council noted 156,581 individuals affected. While partial estimated value of damaged infrastructures, and destroyed crops and livestock are P100 million and P55 million respectively.
In Ilocos Norte, damage estimate is at P111 million with 14,000 individuals affected as of last Saturday according to the statement posted by PGIN Communication and Media Office in Facebook. On the said day, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed Resolution No. 240-2018 putting the province under ‘state of calamity’.
However, as of August 27, figure from PGIN’s website puts the value of damages in agriculture, fisheries, livestock and infrastructure at P441.3 million. Also, the Office of the Provincial agriculturist noted that P71.9 million of rice crops in 17 municipalities were destroyed.
To date, only the Municipality of San Gabriel is under the state of calamity in La Union province since August 23 through Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 47-2018.
Based on the August 30 6:00 am Situation Report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), 78 areas in Region 1 experienced two feet to waist-high flooding.
The same report noted the heavy rains affected 36,192 families in 473 barangays in Region 1 and CAR. Of the 91 road sections affected at the height of the rains, 72 sections are passable since August 28. Power interruption was experienced in 23 areas with restored services in 22 sites as of August 29.
The government’s weather agency said Tropical Depression Luis enhanced the Southwest monsoon that brought continuous moderate to heavy rains in Ilocos and Cordillera regions. # nordis.net