Gov. Imee Marcos expresses sympathy to families affected by ‘Usman’

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Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos has extended her sympathies to the thousands of displaced families in the wake of tropical storm Usman, which left behind at least 68 people dead and 19 others missing.

Marcos said her province of Ilocos Norte, which was previously battered by typhoon Ompong, stand ready to extend assistance to the Bicol region which bore the brunt of the tropical storm that resulted in landslides and flooding.

“We feel for our brothers and sisters in the Bicol region and Eastern Visayas who have lost loved ones and suffered damages to properties due to tropical storm Usman. This is a time for bayanihan. We will do what we can to help our kababayans in need. Ilocanos will be sending our donations ASAP,” she said.

“We in Ilocos Norte know firsthand what it is like to suffer from natural calamities. Typhoon Ompong left behind at least P14.27 billion in agricultural damage, of which rice production accounted for more than 60 percent of the losses. It is not just our farmers who suffered the brunt of these damages but all of us,” Marcos added.

Although Usman has since moved westward away from the country, many affected areas were still experiencing seasonal rains, hampering rescue and recovery efforts, and with at least 30,000 families or about 130,000 people affected.

Camarines Sur, Albay and Sorsogon have already been placed under a state of calamity to ensure that funds can be released easily to assist those in need and prices of basic goods and prime commodities can be controlled.

Estimates of damage done to crops rose to P195.36 million as Sunday, the Department of Agriculture reported.

Some P177.41 million of this was on palay crops alone, with 7,352 metric tons (MT) in potential volume production loss – affecting 8,844 hectares farm land in the provinces of Quezon, Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, and Samar.