SP declares Catanduanes in state of calamity due to “Paeng” damage

A FAINT RAINBOW is photographed arcing over Virac población less than a day before storm “Paeng” passed thru Virac, causing big waves that pounded the length of the seawall protecting the boulevard.

In a special session last Monday (Oct. 31, 2022), the Sangguniang Panlalawigan has unanimously declared a state of calamity in the province of Catanduanes.

The provincial board was acting on the recommendation of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council due to the damage left by storm “Paeng” last Oct. 29, 2022.

A source at the Emergency Operations Center said that a day earlier, the PDRRMC transmitted to the SP the signed resolution on the matter following its approval during the Rapid Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (RDANA) meeting

In the briefing before PDRRMC Chairman Gov. Joseph Cua and the council members, the EOC reported that TS “Paeng” hit Catanduanes at 2 AM Saturday morning with sustained winds of 95kph and gustiness of 130kph.

Fortunately, there were no recorded casualties, the report said, although it caused damages of P21 million to agriculture, P1.5 million to fisheries and another P9.26 million to public infrastructure.

A total of 50,088 residents evacuated their homes and stayed in designated evacuation centers and private houses of neighbors while over 49,000 farmers and fisherfolk were affected since Oct. 29 due to inclement weather.

The storm also forced the First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FICELCO) to conduct emergency power shutdown before the storm hit as a precaution.

But the cyclone only caused minor damage to the distribution lines, with most service drop wire cut by fallen trees and branches.

As of Sunday morning, repair crews of the cooperative were already at the coastal and hinterland barangays to inspect the lines and restore power.

The provincial government also started conducting relief operations beginning noon of Oct. 29, focusing on coastal areas.

The last situation report stated that the evacuees are broken down as follows: Bagamanoc, 1,537; Baras, 3,406; Bato, 1,920; Caramoran, 2,531; Gigmoto, 1,284; Pandan, 4.534; Panganiban, 1,928; San Andres, 3,233; San Miguel, 6,844; Viga, 1,685; and Virac, 21,366.

The storm also caused several minor landslides and eroded roadbeds, with heavy equipment dispatched to clear blocked roads.

Two casualties were reported: a 56-year-old male from Binanuahan, Bato who fell while fixing typhoon guards, and another male from District III, San Miguel, with circumstances not stated.

The Bato victim was rushed to the provincial hospital where he is confined at the Intensive Care Unit.

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