Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Ilocos Norte spared hit from “Maring”


Ilocos Norte spared hit from “Maring”

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Ilocos Norte spared hit from “Maring”

While Ilocos Norte’s North Luzon neighbors were severely battered by Severe Tropical Storm (STS) “Maring” (international name: Kompasu) that hit the region from October 10 to 12, the province, although recording a significant amount of damage, was “miraculously” spared from the typhoon’s full-on wrath.

STS “Maring” only aggravated the damage previously caused by other typhoons to many slope protection structures in the eastern part of the province, particularly along the Ilocos Norte-Apayao road, costing an estimated Php 170 million for repair. Meanwhile, the agriculture sector recorded a loss amounting to more than Php 80 million.

The said figures are just fractions compared to the Php 2.3 billion and Php 1.1 billion initial damages of Typhoon “Ompong” in 2018 and Severe Tropical Storm “Ineng” in 2019, respectively.

Moreover, STS “Maring” ravaged Cagayan, leaving the province with an initial Php 46 million worth of damage in agriculture and infrastructure. Also, it inundated Ilocos Sur, leaving 13 casualties and Php 600 million in damage. While the Province of La Union has not yet released an account of the damage, its Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) reported that the STS affected 88,000 of its residents.

Before the onslaught of STS “Maring,” the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte’s PDRRMC convened and reiterated to all members the need to take some precautionary measures as the tropical storm is expected to hit Northern Luzon.

Aside from constantly monitoring the weather, the PDRRMC coordinated with community officials to monitor flood-prone areas, landslide-prone areas, and storm surge-risk areas in coastal municipalities. As part of the Council’s disaster mitigation efforts, it identified and prepositioned equipment for use in times of calamity, such as ambulances, dump trucks, and rubber boats, as well as relief goods, food packs, and medical supplies.

At the onset of the rainy season, Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc directed, through a memorandum, local chief executives to prepare their alternative evacuation centers separate from their COVID-19 isolation facilities for possible flash floods or landslides due to heavy rains.

In a report dated October 14, Ilocos Norte’s PDRRMC recorded 1 death, 1 missing, and 1 injured due to “Maring.”