FLOODED. An aerial shot of flooded areas in southern Negros Occidental after the onslaught of Typhoon Odette, taken during a damage assessment on Dec. 18, 2021. The provincial government has reported 33 casualties and an estimated PHP5.982 billion in damage across various sectors as of Monday (Dec. 20, 2021). (Photo courtesy of Philippine Coast Guard-Negros Occidental)

BACOLOD CITY – The Negros Occidental provincial government has reported 33 casualties and an estimated PHP5.982 billion in damage across various sectors in the aftermath of Typhoon Odette that slammed into the province overnight on December 16.

During the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) meeting presided by Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson at the Capitol Social Hall here on Monday, data showed that 21 females, 11 males and a minor lost their lives during the onslaught of strong winds as well as heavy rains and floods, particularly in southern Negros.

“The result is that we have declared the whole province of Negros Occidental under a state of calamity,” Lacson told reporters.

The Provincial Board is expected to approve the recommendation during its regular session on Tuesday.

In an earlier interview, Lacson said declaring a state of calamity will allow the province to use its Quick Response Fund to assist affected local government units.

Of the 33 deaths, 22 have so far been verified by the Philippine National Police. Also, 14 are still missing while 36 are injured.

A total of 181,110 individuals were displaced by the typhoon, including 92,963 males; 88,147 females; 99,610 children; 15,575 elderly; and 3,260 persons with disabilities.

Based on the summary of the estimated cost of damage and needs, the amount of partially damaged houses is pegged at PHP212.78 million; totally damaged houses – PHP 13.635 million; schools – PHP268.331 million; animal and livestock – PHP488.78 million; health – PHP13.602 million; food and nutrition – PHP327.768; infrastructure – PHP201 million; seaports – PHP12 million; and agriculture PHP4.445 billion.

In Negros Occidental, the worst-hit are the areas in southern Negros, particularly the sixth district comprised of the cities of Kabankalan and Sipalay as well as the municipalities of Ilog, Candoni, Cauayan and Hinobaan, which were placed under Tropical Cycle Wind Signal No. 4.

These localities experienced strong winds, heavy rains, and widespread floods. (PNA)