NEWS (August 18– August 24, 2008)


LC declared under ‘State of Calamity


By Dominic B. dela Cruz

Staff Reporters


PACKING maximum sustained winds of 140 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 170 kph, typhoon Karen wrought destruction and devastation around Laoag City prompting city government officials to declare the city under the “State of Calamity” on August 20.

The urgent measure was requested by Laoag Mayor Michael V. Fariñas as an appropriation of P2 million as standby fund to help residents cope with the strong typhoon was passed.

Laoag City, and the whole Ilocos Norte, was placed under storm signal warning number 2 on August 19, later upgraded to signal number 3 as Karen approached.

According to Councilor Joseph Tamayo, author of the said resolution, the P2 million appropriated fund would be used for mobilization, purchase of relief goods and other things that may be needed by local residents as they try to cope with the effects of the strong typhoon.

Tamayo added that the P2 million fund would not be used to repair for the damages in agriculture and infrastructure as well as for the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Meanwhile, city budget officer Carlina Cumigad said the city government has a total of P16.1 million as calamity fund for this year and the appropriated P2 million is ready to be released.

As of August 20, the City Department of Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) reported that at least 23 barangays in the city were affected by the typhoon. This translates to 1,105 families or 4,740 persons. The said office has served 130 families and 599 persons.

Social welfare officer Aurora Corpuz said the reported affected barangays may only be a partial total since the city was still under storm warning signal number 2 as of August 21.

Damages on agriculture have been estimated at P5 million by city agriculturist Oscar Recta, who said the most affected by the storm were vegetable and rice plants as well as the fishery sector.

Recta also reported that he ordered several of his personnel to visit all the farming barangays in the city to assess damages.

The City Engineering Office, on the other hand, has estimated damages to infrastructure at P17 million.

Both damage estimates were made on August 21.


Ilocos Times copyright 2008

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