Monday, January 16, 2012

News Update Cold front affects 9,000 Vis-Min folk

MANILA, Philippines - More than 9,000 people or about 2,000 families have been affected by floods caused by the diffused tail-end of a cold front, disaster management officials said yesterday.
In a report, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said the cold front affected 9,482 people or 2,053 families in Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and the Davao and Caraga regions.
NDRRMC executive director Benito Ramos said 753 families or 3,202 people are now housed in 20 evacuation centers.
Landslides occurred in San Fernando in Romblon and Escalante City in Negros Occidental.
On the other hand, residents in parts of Capiz, Leyte, Bukidnon, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte and Surigao del Sur experienced floods.
In Baybay, Leyte, cracks have developed in the mountain slopes in Sitio Abeng, Barangay Pomponan due to continuous rains. The local government has conducted ocular inspections and has issued notices to the affected areas.
In Bukidnon, flooding occurred as the Pulangi River swelled, rising to seven feet high. Residents near riverbanks and in low-lying areas have been subjected to preemptive evacuation.
Heavy rains also caused the Saug River in Davao del Norte to overflow.
Ramos said the NDRRMC Emergency Operations Center remains on “blue alert” status to monitor the effects of the current weather systems. A blue alert places half of the agency’s personnel on standby.
The NDRRMC said the widespread rains over Eastern Visayas and Northern Mindanao may trigger flashfloods and landslides.
Meanwhile, disaster management officials will undergo weeklong training in how to better respond to calamities and emergency situations.
Ramos said the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is sponsoring the Incident Command Management System training which starts today in Tagaytay City.
He said 11 staff members of the USAID will train regional directors of the Office of Civil Defense.
USAID representatives will share their experiences in responding to disasters like the hurricane “Katrina,” which killed thousands in the US in 2005.
“This training is in line with our aim to be proactive in disaster response,” Ramos told radio station dzBB yesterday. - By Alexis Romero