MANILA - Typhoon Ambo (international name: Vongfong), which has since weakened into a tropical depression, left some P79 million worth of damage, based on initial reports, to the Philippines' agriculture sector, the country's disaster management office said Sunday.
Speaking to ABS-CBN's Teleradyo, Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, said though that the initial estimate of P79.9 million is smaller compared to the cost of destruction in agriculture during past calamities.
In its May 16, 2020, 5 p.m. report, the NDRRMC said Masbate province reported the biggest cost of damage to agriculture at nearly P37 million, followed by Camarines Sur, at more than P33 million.
Albay province incurred nearly P4.6 million damage, while Sorsogon and Catanduanes reported around P2.6 million each. Camarines Norte logged more than P85,000 worth of damages.
The preliminary report does not include yet data from Region 8 (Eastern Visayas), where Typhoon Ambo first struck beginning Thursday, and which, according to Jalad, was badly hit.
In Catubig, Northern Samar, the typhoon left almost the entire town submerged in floodwater, as of Friday morning, due to heavy rain. By Sunday, the water level has subsided, Vice Mayor Dex Galit told ABS-CBN News.
"Our situation here is very bad. Grabe ang destruction... Strong winds and massive flooding," Galit said Saturday on his Facebook account.
Galit said the local government on Sunday will declare the town under a state of calamity, that will allow it access to calamity fund.
Jalad said some evacuees remain in temporary shelters even as the typhoon is already poised to exit the Philippine area of responsibility by Monday. Citing the social welfare department, he said some affected families are still staying in evacuation centers in Regions 4-A and 8.
More than 70,000 people from Regions 4-A, 5, 8 and the Cordillera region were preemptively evacuated because of Ambo, the NDRMMC report said.
Jalad said two C130 flights are set to head to Northern and Eastern Samar provinces to bring relief goods, following a similar one to Catarman province.
The agency has yet to officially record any fatality related to the typhoon, he said. Local authorities have reported that at least 4 people have died and several others were injured due to the typhoon.
-- with report from Ranuflo Docdocan, ABS-CBN News