TYPHOON Vongfong caused about P185.83 million in damages across three regions, destroying rice, corn and high-value crops and killing livestock, according to the Agriculture department.

In a statement, the agency said losses had been reported in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), Bicol and Eastern Visayas regions.

The storm (locally named typhoon Ambo) affected more than 40,000 farmers, damaging 9,977 hectares of agricultural areas equivalent to 10,366 metric tons of volume loss, it said.

It added that some crops avoided damage after an early advisory issued by Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar to regional field offices.

More than 93,000 hectares of land have been harvested for rice and 75,467 hectares for corn in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas and Eastern Visayas regions, the agency said.

Almost 417,000 metric tons of rice worth P7.01 billion and 208,890 metric tons of corn worth P2.17 billion were also saved.

“The rain showers from Ambo were beneficial to the dams in Central Luzon, raising the water levels of Angat and Pantabangan dams,” the Agriculture department said.

As of Sunday morning, the water level of Angat Dam was at 190.62 meters, 0.43 meter higher, according to the local weather bureau.

Meanwhile, the water level of Pantabangan Dam rose by 0.28 meter to 185.32 meters.

The agency said aid was available to farmers affected by the typhoon such as its quick response fund worth P700 million allotted to rehabilitate affected areas, and provide 109,586 bags of rice seeds, 10,116 bags of corn seeds and 1,195 kilos of assorted vegetable seeds.

It put crop and livestock damage in the Bicol region at P79.9 million, covering 3,885 hectares with production loss amounting to 4,564 metric tons, said Rodel P. Tornilla, executive director of the agency’s field office in the region.

Among provinces, Masbate posted the biggest crop loss worth P36.9 million. It said it was still validating damages in affected regions. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave