‘Pablo’ damage at P4-B

(UPDATED) The amount will most likely rise as the banana industry estimates that 'Pablo' would cost the industry P8-B. Compostela Valley alone lost almost P3.5-B in crops.

LIVELIHOODS DESTROYED. 150,000 people in Compostela Valley alone live off the banana industry. Photo from Philippine Army 10th Infantry Division's official Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The cost of damage to agriculture and infrastructure by typhoon “Pablo” has topped P4 billion, the National Risk Reduction and Risk Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Friday, December 7.

Of the total, agriculture suffered the biggest losses with P3,365,534,688 in damaged crops, livestocks and fisheries, while roads, bridges and other infrastructure worth P630,970,000 must now be repaired.

Compostela Valley — where 150,000 depend on the banana industry — alone lost almost P3.5-B in crops, the NDRRMC said in its 6 am situation update.

Earlier, however, the Philippine Banana Growers and Exporters Association said the deadly storm would probably cost the industry P8 billion.

Executive director Stephen Antig said Bopha destroyed 10,000 hectares of the country’s 42,000 hectares of banana farms.

The hurricane-force winds and flash floods flattened wide areas of the hillsides of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley provinces, the center of the industry, he added.

Pablo has left more than 400 dead and hundreds injured or missing, and authorities expect the death toll to rise once they are able to reach isolated villages in Mindanao.

CASUALTIES. Bodies lie outside the municipal gymnasium of New Bataan, Compostela Valley, as residents search for their loved ones on December 5, 2012. Photo by Karlos Manlupig.

Death toll keeps rising

At least 418 bodies were recovered in the provinces of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley 72 hours after Typhoon Pablo pummeled Mindanao, the local disaster agency said Friday.

Inside the public information office of the military’s 10th Infantry Division, a list of affected towns and reported casualties in a white board is regularly updated as the numbers of retrieved dead bodies, injured and missing continue to rise.

A total of 201 bodies were found in Davao Oriental while 217 were recovered in Compostela Valley.

Another 849 people were also reported injured after muddy water, debris and strong winds swept through their villages.

SURVIVORS IN NEED. The authorities are asking for help to deliver supplies to the survivors in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley. Photo from Philippine Army 10th Infantry Division's official Facebook page

Supplies needed

The NDRRMC regional office for the Caraga region, which includes Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley, said that there is urgent need for:

  • Communication equipment 
  • Tents for command posts 
  • Hygiene kits 
  • Breast-feeding stations 
  • Cooking utensils 
  • Emergency flashlights 
  • Water containers 
  • Inflatable beds with pump 
  • Personal clothing (male, female, toddler, infant) 
  • Plastic crates 
  • Thermos 
  • Water bottles with filter

Almost 234,000 people are being served inside and outside of 569 evacuation centers in Mindanao.

LOOMING WEST OF MINDORO. Now tropical storm "Pablo" is moving away from the Philippines. Satellite image courtesy of PAGASA

‘Pablo’ still in PAR, downgraded to tropical storm

In its 5 am bulletin, weather bureau PAGASA said that “Pablo” (international codename: Bopha) was located as of 4 am 530 km West of Calapan, Oriental Mindoro (13.3°N,115.8°E) and still within the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

The typhoon is traveling North-Northwest with maximum sustained winds of 110 km/h and gusts of up to 140 km/h.

“Pablo”, expected to exit the PAR by tonight, was downgraded to a tropical storm by PAGASA at 2 am, in an advisory for shipping companies to expect very rough seas in the next hours. – Rappler.com

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