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Typhoon “Phanfone” claimed 50 lives, affected 2.1 million people and wiped out 20 million dollars worth of farm products, Philippines

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Typhoon "Phanfone," locally known as Ursula, has claimed 50 lives as of December 31, 2019. 143 people were injured and 5 are still missing. The storm wiped out almost 20 million dollars (1 billion pesos) worth of farm products following its devastating landfall on Tuesday, December 24, 2019.

A total of 2 122 581 people were affected in 2 544 barangays in Regions MIMAROPA, V, VI, VII, VII and CARAGA. 84 909 are taking temporary shelter in 654 evacuation centers. 

A total of 416 schools were partially damaged and 301 759 houses. 104 469 homes were destroyed.

According to data from the Department of Agriculture's (DA) Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRM), in just a day, the amount of damage and losses brought by Phanfone to the agriculture sector has risen from around 783 million to 999 million pesos (15 million to 20 million dollars).

The volume of production loss on rice, corn, high-value crops, livestock, and fisheries has reached 17 659 metric tons, affecting 17 165 ha (42 416 acres) and 62 197 farmers and fisherfolk across Mimaropa– Mindoro provinces, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan), Bicol, and in Eastern, Western and Central Visayas. DA added that there were also damages and losses on agri-infrastructure.

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Image credit: Radnie De Joseph

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Image credit: Radnie De Joseph

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Image credit: Radnie De Joseph

In addition to the 60 million pesos (1 million dollars) fund under the Survival Recovery (SURE) Program of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), DA said that the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) had enough funds to pay for the indemnity of all insured farmers and fisherfolk affected by the typhoon.

"The concerned DA RFOs (Regional Field Offices) are still conducting field validation regarding the extent of the impact of Typhoon Ursula The DA-DRRM Operations Center will continuously issue updates regarding Typhoon Ursula," said the DA.

As of Sunday, December 29, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that the death toll has reached 47. Among the damaged buildings were 372 schools, 29 health facilities, and 90 public structures. At least 265 643 houses were also battered. 

Featured image credit: Radnie De Joseph

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