TUGUEGARAO CITY – Cagayan and Aurora provinces were placed under a state of calamity on Saturday in the aftermath of typhoon Ulysses.
Floodwater in many areas of Cagayan remained high two days after Ulysses ravaged the province that left five persons dead.
Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba said at least 288 barangays here have remained under water.
At least 43,838 families or 174,940 individuals were affected and many of them were without food, electricity, and clean water, Mamba added.
The province had prepared for the typhoon, and had even initiated preemptive evacuation, he said.
However, “the enormous volume” of water was not expected, he added.
Adding to the woes on water coming from watersheds and releases from Magat Dam, the “big problem was the denudation of our forests and the heavy siltation of our river beds,” Mamba said.
Meanwhile, in Baler, Aurora, a special session of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed a resolution, declaring the province undera state of calamity.
The resolution authorizes the provincial government to utilize of local disaster risk reduction and management (LDRRM) fund for relief and recovery programs.
On Friday, the town of Dingalan was also put under state of calamity as “Ulysses” destroyed houses and means of livelihood of fishermen and farmers in the area.
The intense rains and strong winds brought by “Ulysses” damaged agriculture and infrastructures and displaced thousands of residents in the province.
A total of 7,051 families or 22,219 persons from 98 barangays were pre-emptively evacuated and brought to different evacuation centers.
On the other hand, a total of 414 houses were damaged.
Of this number, 119 were totally destroyed, while 414 were partially damaged.
Damage to infrastructures was estimated at P34.17 million.
In agriculture, the estimated damage was pegged at P191.63 million.
The fisheries sector was severely hit with estimated losses amounted to P112.29 million, followed by crops with P79.06 million, and livestock at P277,600.
Amado Elson Egargue, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office chief, said in an interview, there were no casualties reported.
Egargue said for five years, there was no typhoon-related casualty in the province.
“We are thankful that we were able to maintain zero casualties as our target is to ensure the safety of the people. To save lives and to ensure the people’s safety is our priority. That is why we are doing all-out efforts before, present and after the typhoon,” he said.