By Marie Tonette Marticio
TACLOBAN City – The entire province of Leyte was once again placed under state of calamity due to damage brought by typhoon ‘Ursula’ Thursday.
The resolution was signed by Vice-Governor Carlo Loreto Wednesday only days after the declaration was lifted due to dengue.
The official said the declaration was agreed in a Session en Consulta with only two board members absent.
“We have already reached more than 15 percent damage on crops and infrastructure, wherein most of the affected were roads and local water systems,” Loreto said.
Initial assessment estimated the damage to agriculture, fisheries and infrastructure at P44.805 million.
“There is an urgency for immediate repair and rehabilitation of severely damaged public infrastructure of government agencies and private entities and providing assistance to restore livelihood and living condition,” the resolution said.
About 1,941 families in different municipalities in Leyte were displaced due to heavy rains and strong winds that wreaked havoc in the province on Christmas eve.
There were 3 fatalities reported in the municipalities of Kananga, Abuyog and Baybay City, and 1 missing in Kananga town.
In the province of Biliran, Gov. Rogelio Espina approved the move to declare the entire province under the state of calamity after the onslaught of typhoon Ursula.
Initial reports from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council showed that 768 houses were totally damaged while 6,760 houses were partially damaged. At least 1,050 families were in evacuation centers.
Naval Water District (NWD) OIC Manager Mark Sereño reported damage to water transmission pipes in Barangays Atipolo, Agpangi, Sabang, and Caraycaray temporarily cutting water supply in these areas.
The towns of Medellin and Daanbantayan in Northern Cebu were likewise placed under state of calamity Thursday.
Daanbantayan Mayor Sun Shimura said 19,000 families (80,000 persons) were displaced by the typhoon prompting them to request the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to deliver 17,000 food packs to the town.
Shimura said they are prioritizing to provide food packs to two islets — Malapascua and Carnasa.
“There are at least 700 households in Carnasa and Malapascua. Our problem is that even if there is no weather disturbance, there is no cell phone signals in those islets that’s why it is very hard to deliver relief goods in those areas,” said Shimura.
Shimura said Daanbantayan, which has 20 barangays, has a calamity fund of P3.2 million.
In Medellin town, the estimated damage left by typhoon Ursula has reached P41.2 million.
Medellin Mayor Joven Mondigo said they are expecting the amount of damage to increase since four of the 19 barangays in the town have yet to submit their report of the damage caused by the typhoon.
Initial report showed that 2,542 houses in Medellin were destroyed while 98 were damaged.
The typhoon, which battered the town on Christmas eve also displaced 3,051 families (15, 255 persons).
Mondigo said the town has P2.5 million quick response fund (QRF) that will be used to assist the affected families.
Josephine Luceño, the town’s budget officer, admitted that the QRF is not enough to repair the damaged streetlights and other infrastructures such as sports complex, covered courts, market and some tourist spots, including the town’s popular “Funtastic Island.”
The storm did not spare the renowned Boracay island resort.
Coconut trees were uprooted and windows in some resorts were blown in during the storm. Ferry services to and from the island were cut on Wednesday and Thursday. No one was reported killed in Boracay and the damage was not on the scale of badly hit coastal towns along the path of the storm.
“Ursula” is the 21st cyclone to hit the Philippines in 2019.
Many of the storms are deadly, and they typically wipe out harvests, homes and infrastructure, keeping millions of people perennially poor.
Though much weaker, “Ursula” tracked a similar path as Super Typhoon Haiyan — the country’s deadliest storm on record which left more than 7,300 people dead or missing in 2013.
“Ursula” blew out into the South China Sea on Thursday morning and was tracking towards Vietnam on Friday. (With reports from PIA, Restituto A. Cayubit, and AFP)