Ilocos Norte has been placed under a state of calamity due to the effect of southwest monsoon enhanced by Tropical Depression Luis.
The provincial ordinance was declared during a special session of local lawmakers today (Saturday, August 25).
Already, damage to infrastructure such as river control projects, roads, bridges and irrigation facilities has been estimated at 65.4 million pesos.
Agricultural damage on rice fields, fisheries, high value commercial crops and livestock is believed to amount to more than 45.5 million pesos.
Through the declaration, Vice Governor Eugenio Angelo Marcos Barba said local government units in barangay, municipal and provincial levels will be allowed to utilise their five per cent calamity fund.
“We have enough calamity fund to provide assistance to the victims,” said Barba.
The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council is now making rounds in the towns of Paoay, Pasuquin and Burgos where some residents have become stranded and flooded out of their homes.
Victims so far include a fisherman identified as Ernesto Manzano, aged 71 of Badoc town, who died of hypothermia when he went fishing yesterday.
The provincial tourism office has advised visitors to refrain from visiting Ilocos Norte’s attractions.
In a travel advisory released yesterday Tourism Operations Officer Ian Raquel said such tourist spots as the Kapurpurawan rocks formation in Burgos, Malacañang of the North in Laoag, Presidential Center in Batac and other Marcos Heritage Trail facilities, Arte Luna Gallery, Pagudpud beach park, sand dunes and other government-owned tourism facilities will be closed until further notice.
“Going to the beach and other high-risk areas for swimming, hiking and trekking are also not recommended as of this time,” he said.
He also appealed for the postponement of travel plans by air or by land until the weather clears.
Meanwhile, the Department of Public Works and Highways has reported that all national roads and bridges are passable, except the landslide-prone Tagudin-Cervantes road in Ilocos Sur.
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