Retrieval operations continue in big landslide area in Camarines Sur
One week after Tropical Depression "Usman" dumped rains in the Bicol region, retrieval operations are ongoing in a Camarines Sur town where the biggest landslide occurred.
"We are conducting retrieval operation in Sitio Galang, Barangay Patitinan Sagnay, Camarines Sur where the biggest landslide was recorded," an official told President Rodrigo Duterte as he held a command conference to assess the damage by ''Usman".
The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) said 31 bodies were retrieved in that area and 15 are missing.
Fatalities caused by landslides and floods due to ''Usman'' climbed to 122. NDRRMC Executive Director Ricardo Jalad said there are 28 missing and 60 injured.
The casualties were from Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan), Bicol, Western and Eastern Visayas.
Out the total number of casualties, 105 were from Bicol, where the first accounts of fatalities were recorded as "Usman" made landfall in Eastern Samar on December 29.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol said crop damage was estimated at P801 million, most of which are rice crops.
"The biggest damage is rice, P697 million involving 30,000 farmers and fisherfolks and 33,000 hectares," Pinol said
Jalad mentioned the alarming number of deaths caused by landslides.
"We observed high number of deaths observed caused by landslides. We recommend those living or those communities along landslide prone areas be relocated, " he said.
"These people cannot stay permanently in evacuation centers, they needed to be relocated to permanent relocation sites. We need the assistance of the National Housing Authority, police and local government units," he added.
Jalad stated their next steps for the victims of ''Usman" including "provision of early recovery interventions such as livelihood assistance to affected farmers and fisher folks" which he said would involve the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Department of Labor and Employment and Department of Trade and Industries.
He also said NDRRMC will be planning for the full recovery and rehabilitation of the affected areas. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS