Manila: The death toll of Typhoon Rammasun (locally known as Glenda) rose to almost 60. It also injured hundreds, affected more than one million, and left half a million homeless in all affected areas in central Philippines, southern and northern Luzon, including Metro Manila all of which were paralyzed by power outages two days after the typhoon had exited to the South China Sea early Thursday, officials and other sources told Gulf News.
Fifty-seven people, including three missing were killed by fallen trees, collapsed buildings and flying debris when Typhoon Rammasun blighted all affected areas from Tuesday to Thursday. Figures might rise further after clearing operation ends on Saturday, Undersecretary Alexander Pama, also executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) told Gulf News.
Of the more than one million affected residents, 500,000 lost their homes and were sheltered in 1,200 evacuation centres, said Pama, adding that 26,000 houses were totally and partially damaged.
Damaged infrastructure and agricultural products reached a total of P5.4 billion (Dh 375 million). Damaged rice, corn, high valued cash crops, livestock, and agricultural facilities in Central Luzon, Mimaropa, Bicol and Cordillera Administrative Region was assessed at P 4.529 billion and wrecked infrastructure in Central Luzon, Bicol, Eastern Visayas and National Capital Region was estimated at P892 million, said Pama.
Aqua-fisheries operations Laguna de Bay and Taal in southern Luzon, as well as those in Pampanga and Bataan provinces in northern Luzon were affected by Typhoon Rammasun, Pama added.
Most schools resumed classes in Metro Manila and southern Luzon on Friday. Public and private offices were opened earlier in all affected areas, on Thursday.
However, 35 per cent of all affected areas in Metro Manila and surrounding suburban areas remained without power, affecting schools, offices, and shopping centres that started operating there. In central Philippines, southern and northern Luzon, power outages were more frequent and other blighted areas remained 80 percent without water and power.
Residents were angered when Meralco renewed its promise that electricity would be restored 100 percent in all affected areas by Saturday.
Most roads and bridges in affected areas remained “half-clogged” by fallen trees and other typhoon debris. Residents started helping out because government workers were overwhelmed by the extent of the damage left by Typhoon Rammasun.
“Policemen were also involved in relief and rehabilitation operations, like cleanup of roads to make these passable, securing areas that need to be secured like evacuation centres,” explained Chief Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac, spokesman for the Philippine National Police.
It was the first powerful typhoon that landed in the Philippines at the start of the rainy season.
Every year, about 20 storms savage the Philippines. It is the southernmost door where all storms pass through when they enter northward to all other Southeast Asian countries in the region.