Personnel of Task Force Lingkod Cagayan during their rescue operation in the different towns affected by the flooding. (PIA Photo)

The Department of Agriculture (DA) estimated initial damage on agriculture at P285.9 million brought about by the recent flood which, for the first time, simultaneously affected 11 towns in Cagayan province.

DA Regional Field Unit 2 Executive Director Narciso Edillo said the floods brought about by the tail end of a cold front adversely affected 1,637 farmers and ravaged a total area of about 2,006 hectares of standing crops.

Most of the areas affected by the flooding were planted with rice totaling 1,656.15 hectares while 350 hectares were for high-value commercial crops.

After evaluation, affected farmers and fisherfolk will be given assistance through the DA’s Quick Response Fund.

Meanwhile, Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba stressed that all resources including equipment of the provincial government are now deployed to facilitate rescue and relief operations in the affected towns.

The flooding displaced some 66,375 individuals or 11,597 families, and resulting in four lives lost, one wounded and another one missing.

Eighty-four evacuation centers currently shelter some 39,267 individuals or 9,007 families.

“After this disaster, we will conduct a forum to assess what went wrong, what are our best practices and what should be done in the future,” Mamba said. “Let us look at it and reflect what must be done to avoid this kind of disaster again in the future.”  (Jojo Mangahis)