PGMA to conduct aerial inspection of typhoon Frank-devastated areas of Iloilo Tuesday

PIA Press Release 2008/06/29

PGMA to conduct aerial inspection of typhoon Frank-devastated areas of Iloilo Tuesday

Iloilo City (29 June) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is set to conduct an aerial inspection Tuesday of the areas devastated by typhoon Frank around here before presiding over the regular Tuesday Cabinet meeting at the regional offices of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) at the Fort San Pedro here.

The said Cabinet meeting was originally scheduled to be held in Digos City, Davao del Sur which is celebrating its 41st founding anniversary -- but the President had the venue transferred here so she could have more time to inspect the damage wrought by howler Frank.

Internationally codenamed Fengshen for "god of the wind," the super typhoon which capsized the MV Princess of the Stars, the jewel vessel of Sulpicio Lines, in the rough waters off Romblon also poured down double the normal rainfall here on that fateful weekend over June 20-22 (Friday to Sunday).

The President shall fly over the towns of Alimondian, Cabatuan, Sta. Barbara and Pavia.

From the Presidential chopper to be flown by Major Nelson Morales and Capt. Ignacio Ozar, President Arroyo shall see the wreckage of several bridges rendered impassable by Frank, including the President's Bridge in Alimodian, and the Imelda Marcos Bridge in Cabatuan.

With the Imelda Marcos Bridge cut in half and the other half now submerged, this city and the surrounding towns have no potable/pipe water. This because the main pipe of the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD), which used to cross over the bridge, went down with the now-destroyed bridge portion.

A flight simulation conducted this afternoon by the Presidential Airlift Wing (PAW) with Presidential Assistant for Region VI Dr. Raul Banas, Presidential Management Staff (PMS) regional team leader Ruby Plagata and the Presidential News Desk (PND) on board also showed several areas still mired in mud a week after the unexpected flooding of a wide area along the banks of the then swollen Iloilo River.

The regional office of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here revealed that a total of 254 millimeters of rainfall fell on Iloilo that weekend as compared to the normal monthly mean of 190 millimeters of rainfall in the area over a 24-hour period.

The DENR added that a 1.8-meter high tide -- compounded by the fact that Iloilo only has 16 percent "watershed vegetation" caused the flash flood that will go down as the worst flood ever in Iloilo's recent history.

As of yesterday, the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC) for Western Visayas said a total 322 people died, 288 went missing, and 723 people were injured due to the strong rains and wind spawned by the super typhoon which caught residents unawares.

A total of P1.4 billion worth of agricultural produce were also laid to waste, while P1.5 billion worth of government infrastructure was destroyed, aside from P235 million worth of damage to private property in the region which covers Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Bacolod City and Iloilo City. (PIA)

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