4K individuals affected by storm ‘Florita’ -- NDRRMC

A trail of destruction emerged as Severe Tropical Storm “Florita” left the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Wednesday morning, August 24.

Personnel from Baggao Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) in Cagayan assist residents from crossing the Bagunot Bridge on August 24, 2022 after it overflowed due to Severe Tropical Storm "Florita." (Photo by Cagayan Public Information Office)

Based on the latest report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), a total of 1,344 families composed of 4,646 individuals were affected by Florita, which was located outside the PAR at 5 a.m.

Cagayan, which is one of the most affected provinces, recorded an 8.6-meter water level in Barangay Tupang Bangkero in Alcala town, according to the municipal DRMM office.

“Hinihintay natin na bumaba sa threshold ang pagtaas ng tubig sa Cagayan. Ang huling reading ay eight meters ‘yung lalim so hinihintay lang natin bumaba ng five meters para wala nang underwater na mga barangay (We are waiting for the waters in Cagayan to subside to the threshold. The last reading was eight meters so we are waiting for it to go down to five meters so that no more barangay is underwater),” said Ruelie Rapsing, head of the Cagayan provincial DRRM office.

The NDRRMC reported that 311 families or 956 individuals were temporarily staying in 19 evacuation centers nationwide.

A third of them, 190 families or 390 individuals, were residents of Aparri, Baggao, Gattaran, Gonzaga, Iguig, and Lal-lo in Cagayan.

At the NDRRMC level, officials were saying that there was no reported casualty so far although Rapsing confirmed three residents in Cagayan sustained minor injuries due to fallen trees.

“We have zero casualty due to Severe Tropical Storm Florita although we have three minor injuries due to fallen branches of trees. May nasugatan at galos but no serious injuries (They had scrape wounds but no serious injuries),” he said.

The NDRRMC has yet to provide details on the extent of the damage on infrastructure and agriculture caused by Florita. But Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba said there were many rice and corn farmers lost their yield to the typhoon due to flooding.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) deployed its personnel and reservists to join the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations in the affected regions.

Philippine Army (PA) reservists from the 201st Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion and the 201st Community Defense Center, 2nd Regional Community Defense Group assisted in the repacking and hauling of an initial 300 food packs for the calamity-stricken areas in Cagayan Valley (Region 2).

Army units in the Cagayan Valley region have also been mobilized to help families affected by floods or landslides due to the onslaught of “Florita.”

The Northern Luzon Command’s (NOLCOM) 77th Infantry Battalion of the 5th Infantry Division was also tapped to provide in Cagayan and Isabela provinces.

Joint Task Force “Karagatan” of the Philippine Navy’s (PN) Naval Forces Northern Luzon Command (NFNL) also submitted its situational assessment of flooded areas in Laoag City and Ilocos Norte.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Air Force’s (PAF) Tactical Operations Wing Northern Luzon (TOWNOL) were asked to support HADR operations in the remaining areas of Northern Luzon.