LAOAG CITY – In a special session held at the provincial capitol here on October 21, the provincial board declared the whole province of Ilocos Norte under a state of calamity in the wake of the devastation wrought about by super typhoon ‘Lawin’ (international name ‘Haima’) with an estimated P673,493,056.06 worth of damages to crops and infrastructure.
In its report, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) said losses in agriculture totaled P274,016,966.06 while damage to infrastructure reached P399,476,090.00.
According to the report, 10,927 individuals from 127 barangays have been evacuated in over 70 evacuation centers around the province.
In Barangay Davila, Pasuquin, 85 year-old Aurora Cariaga died due to hypothermia, or abnormal drop in body temperature, triggered by extreme cold weather condition. Her death however was later classified as “non-typhoon related.”
Director Melchito Castro of the Office of the Civil Defense Regional Office 1 attributed the zero casualty in the province to the provincial government’s preparations and the overwhelming cooperation and support” of the residents.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa ating mga governor na maagap ang kanilang preparedness activities at naiwasan natin yung mga casualty… Alam naman natin na itong typhoon ‘Lawin’ ay super typhoon, kaya talagang puspusan ang paghahandang ginawa ng ating mga local government unit sa pamumuno ng ating mga governor,” Castro
As early as Monday, October 17, members of the PDRRMC in Ilocos Norte had convened to prepare for the impact of super typhoon ‘Lawin.’
Before Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 4 was declared in Ilocos Norte, Governor Imee Marcos ordered city and municipal mayors to implement preemptive evacuation to high risk areas.
Classes in all levels were suspended since October 19.
The PSWD said over 3,000 relief packs containing rice, canned goods, coffee packs, as well as assorted medicines have been distributed to the affected residents since October 20.
Meanwhile, Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative is working overtime for the full restoration of power in the entire province which was shut off on Wednesday.
INEC said some parts of the province were already energized as of today.
The Provincial Capitol is offering free call and charging services in cooperation with telecommunication companies.
Flight services of the Laoag International Airport also resumed as of 6:25AM today.
Typhoon ‘Lawin’ has left the Philippine area of responsibility around 5PM of October 20 (From the report of Jennifer T. Pambid, PGIN-CMO)