'Karen' wrecks P500-M of agricultural produce in Bicol

LEGAZPI CITY -- The Office of Civil Defense (OCD)in Bicol on Monday estimated initial losses of half a billion pesos or PHP571 million worth of agriculture products after typhoon Karen pummeled the region on Saturday.

Bernardo Rafael Alejandro, OCD-Bicol head, said the initial crop damage indicated that moderate rains poured by the typhoon had affected 16,352 hectares of rice land or an equivalent of PHP334 million production losses, 1,400-ha of high value crops or production losses of PHP210 million, and corn production losses of PHP36 million.

He said Camarines Sur suffered the most with PHP419,392,834 worth agricultural produce destroyed, followed by Albay - PHP68,149,711, Sorsogon – PHP59,217,858, and Camarines Norte - PHP1,980,194.

Alejandro said the damage to agriculture is expected to rise as OCD-Bicol still awaits the reports from the island provinces of Catanduanes and Masbate.

“We expect more damage from Catanduanes as typhoon Karen hovered the province, bringing heavy rains that brought flooding and landslides in the area,” he said.

Some 6,068 families or 24,528 persons staying in 182 evacuation centers across Bicol had returned to their homes on Sunday.

Government engineers have cleared roads hit by landslides in San Andres and Gigmoto towns in Catanduanes; Irosin, Sorsogon; and in Cataingan Masbate.

So far, power was already restored in Catanduanes and in 10 towns of Camarines Sur, three towns in Camarines Norte, two towns in Sorsogon and some areas in Albay. (PNA)


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