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Philippines braces for more typhoons next month

Philippines braces for more typhoons next month
A series of typhoons recently hit country, leaving dozens dead, a million displaced

By Rhany Chairunissa Rufinaldo

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AA) - Philippines state climate bureau on Friday warned two to three tropical cyclones may enter the country’s weather monitoring area in December, local media reported.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said there will still be a short reprieve in rainy weather until early next week, but it expected no weather disturbance in the next three to five days, according to CNN Philippines.

“Over the weekend, most of the country will experience generally fair weather," the daily quoted Ariel Rojas, a weather specialist, as saying.

A series of typhoons recently hit the Island of Luzon, where the capital Manila is located, and several areas, killing dozens of people and leaving a million others displaced.

- Typhoons cause $415M damage

Agriculture damage from recent typhoons surpassed $250 million and infrastructure damage stood at $165 million, according to a report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

European Union announced on Friday it is donating €1.05 million ($1.2 million) in humanitarian aid to the victims of Typhoon Ulysses, the Philippines News Agency reported.

The report said this came after recent donation of €1.3 million ($1.5 million) to support families affected by Super Typhoon Rolly, raising its total contribution to Manila’s disaster response to €2.35 million ($2.7 million) as of Nov 20.

“The EU is scaling up its humanitarian assistance in the Philippines in response to the devastating typhoons that have hit the country over the past month,” said Arlynn Aquino, who oversees the EU’s humanitarian response in the country, as quoted by the agency.

Aquino said the additional contribution will help get the much-needed aid to the most vulnerable people in this difficult time.

The fresh funding will support humanitarian aid partners who are already on the ground to respond to the immediate needs, including shelter, food, health care, and access to clean water, safe sanitation and good hygiene, the report said.

- Rice produce badly hit

Meanwhile, the government planned to import more rice next year as the consecutive typhoons are projected to negatively impact the ability to produce the main staple, according to local newspaper the Philstar.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar admitted that the country’s self-sufficiency ratio may decline to 90% in 2021 from the projected 93% this year, which means that 10% of the rice requirement of the population would have to be imported, it said.

“That’s a given because we are not able to produce yet 100% of our requirement. That is the implication. When you are only able to produce 90% of your requirements, then you always have to import the rest from other countries,” the daily quoted the minister as saying.

According to the daily, the recent typhoons wiped out eight days of equivalent rice consumption, which brings the total inventory to about 82 days by January 2021-- a comfortable level considering the continuous arrival of imported rice by the private sector.

The typhoon “Ulysses” hit the country while it was still trying to cope with the devastating impact of the more powerful “Rolly”.

With maximum sustained winds of 155 kph (96 mph), “Ulysses” caused heavy downpours and severe flooding in several provinces in Luzon, damaging more than 65,000 houses.

At least 73 people died and 24 injured, while 19 others remain missing, according to disaster management agency.

source: News Feed
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