Number of people in Philippines affected by Typhoon Ompong reaches over 800,000

THE number of people in the Philippines reported to be affected by the recent Typhoon Ompong — known internationally as Typhoon Mangkhut — has reached over 800,000, according to the latest National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) report released Tuesday morning, September 18.

President Rodrigo Duterte interacts with his supporters upon his arrival at the Provincial Capitol in La Trinidad, Benguet on Monday, September 17 where he presided over a situation briefing to discuss the disaster response measures on the aftermath of Typhoon ‘Ompong.’ Malacañang (photo by Robinson Niñal Jr.)

According to Philippine National Police numbers, the death toll reached 74 on Tuesday, though that number is expected to rise.  Most of the deaths have been coming from the Cordillera Administrative Region which as of Tuesday, had 60 fatalities.   Both Metro Manila and the Ilocos Region had one death recorded each, Central Luzon had two, and Cagayan Valley recorded 10.

From the total of affected 3,237 barangays in the NCR, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), a total of 218, 492 families, or 893,944 families were reported affected, according to the NDRRMC.

As of Tuesday, a total of 236,060 individuals were reported being served by 1,780 evacuation centers.  The number broke down to 162,339 reported being served inside the evacuation centers, and 73,661 being served outside.

Furthermore, a total of 1,264 houses were recorded damaged with 130 classified as totally damaged, and 1,134 being partially damaged.

The NDRRMC also reported Tuesday that agricultural damages reached PHP14.3 billion in the regions of Ilocos, Cagayan, CAR, Calabarzon, and Central Luzon.  

In CAR alone, the damage as of Monday, September 17 was PHP2.8 billion, affecting approximately 171,932 farmers and much of the regions rice and corn.  Not yet recorded are the number of farmers affected in the other regions.

“Mababago pa ‘yan (That will still change) because those are just estimates,” said Office of Civil Defense Spokesperson Edgar Posadas in a Monday press briefing.  “We have procedures on a more structured assessment later on as we are focused right now on response.”

World’s strongest storm of 2018

Sustaining Hurricane wind speeds of up to 170 miles per hour, the 550-mile wide storm remains the world’s strongest storm this year so far.

After hitting its hardest in the Philippines’ northern province of Luzon on Saturday, Ompong made way south to Hong Kong and Macau, before downgrading to a tropical depression in China where state news media reported four people dead.

On Monday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte met with families of some typhoon victims in the CAR province in Benguet where around PHP25,000 worth of goods and burial assistance were distributed, according to Special Assistant to the President Bong Go.  Another PHP20,000 in cash was distributed to families.

Outside the Philippines, condolences were sent including by U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, who tweeted on Saturday, “Our thoughts are with those affected by Typhoon Ompong.  The U.S., as a friend, partner, and ally of the Philippines, stands ready to assist.”

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