‘Agaton’ damage piles up

The convoy of helicopters carrying President Rodrigo Roa Duterte passes one of the areas hit by landslides brought by Tropical Storm Agaton in Baybay City, Leyte during an aerial inspection on April 15, 2022. According to the Office of Civil Defense, the aftermath of Tropical Storm Agaton has affected almost a million people and left 253 unofficial number of casualties –dead, missing, and injured– in six regions. KING RODRIGUEZ/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

THE number of individuals affected by Tropical Storm “Agaton” (international name: “Megi”) has reached 1,596,337, or 427,379 families as of Friday evening, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported.

The latest DSWD report also said that 545 houses sustained total damage, while 8,778 more were partially destroyed.

This is a huge jump from Thursday's tally of 1,222,265 individuals affected and 483 houses totally damaged.

More individuals were also recorded staying in evacuation centers — 227,459 of the 1.5 million people affected — compared to Thursday's tally of 213,779.

The DSWD said that to date, it has released P40,871,020.48 worth of aid to areas affected by Agaton.

The tropical storm, which made landfall last Sunday with sustained winds of up to 65 kilometers (40 miles) per hour and gustiness of up to 80 kph (49 mph), has impacted Regions 5 (Bicol), Region 6 (Western Visayas), Region 7 (Central Visayas), Region 8 (Eastern Visayas), Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula), Region 10 (Northern Mindanao), Region 11 (Davao), Region 12 (Soccsksargen), Caraga, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Agaton's torrential rains and strong winds inflicted the most damage in the Visayas, where floods and landslides occurred. Some of the places hit by the storm were just starting to recover from the damage brought by Typhoon “Odette” (international name: “Rai”).

The damage to agriculture and infrastructure in the Western Visayas and Eastern Visayas plus parts of Mindanao, meanwhile, was estimated at P242,239,927.31 and P6,950,000, respectively.

Agaton death toll rises to 167

The death toll from landslides and flooding triggered by Agaton has risen to 167, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported on Saturday.

Eastern Visayas registered the highest number of fatalities with 151, followed by Western Visayas with 11, Davao Region with three and Central Visayas with two.

Philippine National Police chief Gen. Dionardo Bernardo Carlos said that at least 2,898 individuals were rescued through the search, rescue and retrieval operations conducted by the police in Central and Eastern Visayas.

Duterte promises new houses for Agaton victims

President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday promised to provide new homes for the survivors of Typhoon Agaton.

The President, however, asked for the patience of families affected by the storm.

“If there are flatlands here that's not too near the coastline but the owner refuses to share them, then the government will take that property and pay the owner. And that's a long process, actually,” Duterte said during his visit in Baybay City, Leyte.

Duterte said he would use his remaining months in office to ensure Agaton's survivors will be provided with new shelters.

“There's only two months left of my presidency, so I won't be able to do much to help you. But what I can assure you is that I will help make sure that preparations will be in place to help give you new houses,” he added.

Agaton was the first storm to hit the Philippines this year. The country sees around 20 typhoons annually.

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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