‘Ursula’ damaged 861 classrooms in Eastern Visayas: DepEd

A total of 861 classrooms in Eastern Visayas were damaged by Typhoon "Ursula" (Phanfone) which crossed the region on Christmas Eve, the Department of Education (DepEd) reported on Monday.

Based on consolidated reports, 241 classrooms incurred major damages while 571 had minor damages, said Jazmin Calzita, DepEd Eastern Visayas regional information officer.

Among the 13 DepEd field offices in the region, only Baybay City, Maasin City, Northern Samar, and Southern Leyte have not reported any damage in their school facilities and learning materials.

Leyte has the highest number of damaged classrooms at 250, followed by Western Samar with 173; Ormoc City, 173; Eastern Samar, 95; Biliran, 92; Borongan City, 55; Tacloban City, 19; and Catbalogan City, 8.

Despite reported damages, all schools are operational and have resumed classes on January 6, Calzita said. Typhoon-hit campuses need at least 175 temporary learning spaces to accommodate learners.

Damages were mostly caused by flooding and strong winds. In Basey and Sat. Rita, Samar, a one-meter storm surge destroyed several classrooms.

For non-infrastructure damages, 2,296 pieces of furniture were destroyed, 9,621 learning resources, and 678 computer sets.

To address this problem, the DepEd is working on the immediate provision of temporary learning spaces and additional learning materials, and for long-term needs, construction of more disaster-resilient classrooms.

High rise buildings in low-lying areas are deemed necessary to build resilience against typhoons and other hazards associated with it like landslide and flooding, Calzita added.

The region has 4,167 public elementary and secondary schools in Eastern Visayas.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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