DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 6 Dec) – Death toll due to Typhoon Pablo in the Davao Region alone rose to 322, according to data gathered from the Davao Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) Wednesday.
The Davao Region suffered the most from the typhoon’s fury as Pablo hit landfall in Baganga in Davao Oriental early morning Tuesday before heading west, eventually exiting Mindanao island in the afternoon towards the Visayas.
Of the casualties, 194 are from Compostela Valley and 128 from Davao Oriental, mostly from flashfloods and landslides victimizing residents unfamiliar with typhoons, according to a report submitted by Liza Mazo, RDRRMC director for the Davao Region, to Undersecretary Benito Ramos of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC)
Mazo said 18 municipalities and three cities with 19 barangays, 2,891 families and 14,316 persons were affected in the region.
There were evacuations in 11 municipalities and three cities with 15 barangays, displacing a total of 2,905 families and 13,562 persons, particularly in the provinces of Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental and Davao del Norte.
Still experiencing blackout, Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley declared their respective areas under a state of calamity last Wednesday.
Pablo’s damage to agriculture in the Davao Region was estimated at P1.8 billion, affecting 8,769 hectares; while damage to infrastructure has reached P3.1 million, Mazo’s report said.
In Northern Mindanao, 11 persons died while 22 were injured by fallen trees and flying debris as 200 kph winds of super typhoon Pablo lashed the region Tuesday, disaster officials said.
In a report, the Office of Civil Defense OCD) in Region 10 said four persons died in Bukidnon, five in Misamis Oriental and two in Misamis Occidental.
OCD Region 10 Director Anna Caneda said 13 persons were injured in Cagayan de Oro, five in Misamis Oriental and two in Gingoog City. Misamis Occidental and Bukidnon provinces each reported one person injured for a total of 22 persons.
She said typhoon Pablo forced the evacuation of some 202,569 persons or 39,835 families living in critical areas in the provinces of Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Norte, Camiguin and the two cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan.
“Except for some in Cagayan de Oro and Valencia, all of the affected residents have already went back to their houses a day after the typhoon left,” Caneda told Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas in a briefing Wednesday morning.
Caneda reported that infrastructure damage in Region 10 reached P71 million as flashfloods and gale-force winds tore away roofs of school buildings, swept away bridges and destroyed farm-to-market roads.
The biggest infrastructure damage, Caneda said, was Ugyaban Bridge linking Cagayan de Oro City to Talakag municipality and the rest of southern Bukidnon province.
“The bridge that was built in 2000 and designed to last for 30 years was swept away in less than an hour. Only the old bridge built 60 years ago remained,” Caneda reported.
Engineers from the Department of Public Works and Highways said they estimated a new bridge will cost P75 million and months to construct.
Roxas promised that the Aquino administration will expedite the release of the money since the bridge is a vital commercial link.
The provincial board of Bukidnon is set to declare the province under a state of calamity to be able to access about P126 million in calamity funds, including savings incurred since 2010.
As of Thursday afternoon, the PDRRMC cited the number of houses totally destroyed to be 259 and the partially damaged at 190.
Engr. Alson Quimba, provincial agriculture officer, said that damage to agriculture was estimated at P304 million.
The entire island province of Camiguin, meanwhile, is still without electricity as of Thursday while those in other parts of Mindanao are partially restored as electric cooperatives work round-the-clock erecting back toppled electricity poles, Caneda said.
“We have yet no idea when the electricity will be restored to the island but the engineers are working hard,” she said.
Caneda said electricity is now fully restored in Cagayan de Oro but water supply is still acute with only 55 percent of the supply distribution restored by the local utility, Cagayan de Oro Water District.
In other areas, Caneda reported that 40 percent of electricity in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon was restored while its water supply was only partially restored at 25 percent.
Power is also restored by 75 percent in Valencia City in Bukidnon, Caneda reported.
Most parts in Misamis Oriental still has no electricity with Lagonglong town is also without water since Tuesday.
Roxas told the directors of government agencies in Region 10 that they were lucky that Super Typhoon Pablo spared Northern Mindanao from extensive damages. “We are successful because we are prepared 50 percent. The other 50 percent is that Mother nature spared this region,” he pointed out.
In Kabacan, North Cotabato, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported that 1,730 families from 13 villages were forced to evacuate after heavy flooding.
The city government of Davao provided food assistance worth P9.5 million for the provinces of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley.
Mayor Sara Duterte earlier said the city is ready to assist any province in Region 11 that would be gravely affected by Pablo with its calamity fund of at least P200 million. (Lorie Ann C. Cascaro, Froilan Gallardo, Walter I. Balane, Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)