Farmer Benny Taguinod shows his damaged crops in Tuguegarao, Cagayan on Monday. Local farmers raised concern on needing substantial amount of money to help them recover from the damage brought by Typhoon Ompong. ABS-CBN

MANILA – Typhoon Ompong left five regions with agricultural damage reaching up to P14,339,237,631, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The damage was confined to the Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and the Cordillera Administrative Region, council spokesman Edgar Posadas told a briefing Tuesday.

Ompong affected 171,932 farmers in the CAR alone and agricultural damage could go higher in the coming days, Posadas said.

The NDRRMC has yet to complete further assessments of infrastructure damage.

Among those affected were 218,492 families (893,844 individuals) living in 3,237 barangays in Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, CAR, and the National Capital Region, Posadas said.

Meanwhile 43,603 families (162,399 people) are being assisted in 1,780 evacuation centers while another 18,106 families (73,661 individuals) outside of evacuation centers get aid as well.

Also reported affected were 241 road sections and five bridges in Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Bicol, and CAR. Of these, 106 road sections and one bridge were already passable as of Sunday.

Posadas added that 266 areas in Ilocos, Central Luzon and Calabarzon were reported flooded as of Sunday. Floods in 35 of these localities were reported to have subsided already.

A total of 1,264 houses were reported damaged – 130 totally and 1,134 partially – in Regions 1, 2, 3, and CAR, while there were eight confirmed dead, two missing and 21 confirmed injured, said Posadas.

As this developed, the Philippine Army announced that it has deployed its 525th Engineer Combat Battalion (ECB) and K-9 working dogs to help in the ongoing rescue and retrieval operation in Barangay Ucab, Itogon, Benguet where a landslide occurred amid Ompong.

The 525th ECB, aside from being a combat support unit, has been primarily tasked as the Army’s Disaster Response Unit. It comprises six search and rescue retrieval teams.

Meanwhile the K-9 Unit, aside from its usual duty as a bomb detection squad, may also be used in complex emergencies, including in the detection of humans buried in mud. (PNA)

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