By Jillian Marielle Tiraña

Tropical Storm ‘Florita’ recorded further damages during its exit from the Philippine area of responsibility on Thursday, August 25.

Photo Courtesy of DOST-PAGASA/ABS-CBN News

‘Florita’, internationally known as Ma-on, caused heavy rain and flooding primarily in Northern Luzon in the span of two days earlier this week.

More than 3,600 families or over 12,127 people from villages in Cagayan province retreated to evacuation centers as some towns remain flooded up to a foot deep.

Meanwhile, 199 families in Central Luzon have also evacuated, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional office.

A total of four Florita-related deaths have been confirmed as of Thursday; Francis Bitanga, a farmer from Barangay Wagud in the Kalinga province, was hit by a falling tree, teacher Romeo Sison Jr. from San Roque High School drowned, and earlier this week, Oliver and Myrna Corpuz from Quirino died after their bus tipped over a slippery road in Naguilian, Isabela.

Landslides have also been reported in areas around Baguio City and Apayao Province.

Florita also took a toll on the country’s agricultural sector, leaving P19.10 million worth of damages and creating a production loss of 1,132 metric tons.

According to the Department of Agriculture’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Operations Center (DA-DRRM), P11.71 million of rice, P7.31 million of corn, and P81,000 of high-value crops were destroyed.

“The movement of vegetable products in CAR is not merely affected since no major road networks were distracted by STS Florita,” the DA-DRRM stated.

Affected farmers may request assistance through the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC)’s Survival and Recovery program and the Quick Response Fund.

Edited by Christine Gaile Dimatatac