Typhoon Ompong leaves at least P2.8 billion in agricultural damage

MANILA, Philippines – Office of Civil Defense Spokesperson Edgar Posadas said the damage to agriculture from Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) has reached an estimated P2.8 billion in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) as of Monday, September 17.

But the cost is likely to increase, he said, as the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has yet to fully assess the damage to crops.

"Mababago pa 'yan (That will still change) because those are just estimates. We have procedures on a more structured assessment later on as we are focused right now on response," he said in a press briefing.

Of the P2.8 billion, the NDRRMC's report as of 6 pm, Monday, also gave the following breakdown:

Around 171,932 farmers have also been affected by Ompong, according to the NDRRMC.

More than a day before Ompong's landfall in the Philippines, farmers in Cagayan already started to gather their crops, which were only weeks away from harvest.

Heavy rain also flooded rice fields in La Paz, Tarlac. The crops were already in the clearing phase. (IN PHOTOS: Tarlac rice fields turn into a lake)

During a command conference on Ompong led by President Rodrigo Duterte last September 13, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol also estimated that the typhoon would affect a total of 1,220,000 hectares of rice and corn.

Piñol had said this may reduce the country's rice supply and result in losses of about P3.6 billion to P7.9 billion.

The typhoon has affected over 500,000 people from 7 regions. Of this number, 192,842 people were staying in 1,899 evacuation centers, said the NDRRMC.

According to the Philippine National Police, at least 66 were killed due to Ompong. Majority of the fatalities come from CAR, which was badly hit by landslides. – Rappler.com 

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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