THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Wednesday that more than 7,000 people, or over 2,000 families, have been affected by severe tropical storm "Florita."

Based on the DSWD's Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (Dromic), as of 6 a.m. on August 24, 2,213 affected families or 7,616 individuals from 110 villages in five regions have been recorded.

The Dromic recorded 620 evacuee families totaling 2,129 people. They were housed in 51 different evacuation facilities.

According to the report, the number of families who chose to stay with relatives and friends is 172, or 640 people.

The affected regions were Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Cordillera Administrative Region and the National Capital Region.

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The amount of humanitarian aid given to the victims of the tropical storm has surpassed P1.1 million.

The DSWD, local government units (LGUs), and other partners have provided assistance. Validation and assessment are also being done on a regular basis.

In Cagayan Valley, at least 3,627 families or 12,127 people remained in evacuation centers from 149 villages yesterday.

Rogelio Sending Jr., Cagayan provincial information officer, said two were injured due to fallen trees — one in Enrile town and one in Tuguegarao City.

All school classes at all levels were suspended today to allow villagers to clean their homes, Gov. Manuel Mamba said.

In Isabela, bridges in Alicaocao in Cauayan, Baculod in Ilagan, Cabagan-Santa Maria and Cansan (Cabagan)-Bagutari (Santo Tomas) remain closed to traffic.

Relief packs continue to pour in for flood-affected villagers in the region.

Clearing operations continue as damage costs have yet to be released by the government.

Agriculture Regional Director Narciso Edillo said they have been doing a "rapid assessment" prior to the validation, but he noted minimal damage to crops.

Edillo also said that in Alcala town, at least 41 hectares of corn farms under maturity stage have been submerged in floodwater.

Damage to agriculture reaches P3M

The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Wednesday reported that Florita caused an initial P3.01 million in damage to agriculture in Ilocos Norte.

According to the DA, at least 628 hectares of agricultural lands were affected by the flooding in the province.

"Based on initial assessment, damage and losses have been reported in Ilocos Norte amounting to P3.01 million affecting 310 farmers, with the volume of production loss at 220 metric tons and 628 hectares of agricultural areas," the DA said in a report.

The DA said the commodities include rice and high-value crops, adding that the cost of damage to the crops is expected to increase.

"The DA, through its regional field offices (RFOs), is conducting an assessment of damage and losses brought by Florita in the agri-fisheries sector," according to the agency.

WITH REPORTS FROM VINCE JACOB VISAYA AND BELLA CARIASO