Damage to infrastructure at P4 billion
MANILA - The number of people who reportedly died during the onslaught of Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) last week has risen to 367, while the cost of damage it caused on agriculture stood around P3.6 billion, reports from disaster response agencies said on Saturday.
Based on the latest National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council's (NDRRMC) report, 44 of the 367 reported fatalities have been confirmed to be directly related to Odette while the remaining 323 need further validation.
The storm, which packed maximum sustained winds of nearly 200 kilometers per hour (kph) at its peak when it hit land beginning Dec. 16, also injured 659 and affected nearly a million families or over 3.5 million people nationwide.
There were 51 people reported missing as of Saturday morning.
The NDRRMC said there were at lest 370,000 houses damaged by Odette in Southern Luzon, and in the country's central and southern regions.
Over a hundred cities and municipalities remain without power until Christmas day.
DAMAGE TO INFRASTRUCTURE, AGRICULTURE
The estimated cost of damage to infrastructure is already P4 billion as of Saturday, according to the NDRRMC. These were recorded in Mimaropa, Caraga, Central and Easter Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and Soccsksargen.
A local official in Negros Oriental this week said the damage that Odette brought to their province could be around P2 billion, noting that there is still some difficulty accessing relief goods due to blocked roads.
The governor of Surigao Del Norte, on the other hand, said the storm's devastation in Siargao Island costs around P20 billion.
Odette made its first of 9 landfalls over the country's surfing paradise on Dec. 16.
A number of provinces are currently seeking food, water, and alternative sources of electricity as they continue to reel over the impact of the storm, one of the strongest that hit the Philippines this year.
The Department of Agriculture's (DA) disaster response monitoring arm, for its part, said the estimated cost of damage to the country's crops and food yields is around P3.6 billion, affecting 47,048 farmers and fishers.
Most of the destroyed agricultural yields were in Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao, and Caraga, the DA said.
It said that 94,764 metric tons and 67,573 hectares of agricultural areas were affected by Odette, which are mostly rice, corn, high value crops, and livestock.
"Damage has also been incurred in agricultural infrastructures, machineries and equipment. These values are subject to validation," the agency said.
Odette was at one point a super typhoon under US classification when it slammed into the central and southern Philippines late last week, bringing heavy rains and swamping villages.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier this week placed 6 regions under a state of calamity. This imposes an automatic price freeze on basic goods, allows local governments to tap calamity funds, and facilitates foreign aid for recovery efforts.
Duterte has pledged to raise at least P10 billion for typhoon survivors, while noting that the COVID-19 crisis depleted funds.