Residents in flood-prone areas ordered to go to safer grounds

Residents in flood-prone areas ordered to go to safer grounds
(File Photo courtesy of Jomz Deloy)

DAVAO CITY – A preemptive evacuation order was issued to residents in flood-prone areas due to the heavy rains that the city experienced since Monday evening (Feb. 15).

In a radio interview Tuesday, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) administration and training chief Lyndon Leovic Ancajas, said residents along Panacan, Talomo, and Matina rivers have to undergo a preemptive evacuation and those living along Bunawan River as the water level there also surged.

He said their office constantly provided updates to the public  through the CDRRMO Facebook page, Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR), and the city government of Davao social media platforms on the water level status of the city’s rivers.

“Water level rose in some rivers so we released a preemptive evacuation order to safeguard the lives of people. Our main goal when we conduct disaster response is to provide life preservation and meet the basic subsistence needs of the affected population with acceptable standards during and after a disaster. It all boils down to three important words – provide life preservation,” Ancajas said.

The city’s disaster response is headed by the City Social Welfare Development Office (CSWDO) as its services revolve around in providing food, shelter (evacuation center), and warmth (through clothing), which are all key components in providing life preservation.

He also said that disaster response aims to ensure the survival of a maximum of people, stabilizes the situation as rapidly as possible, and reestablish essential services such as water and food. These are basic services that the city government of Davao provides to affected communities.

“We have been reiterating that. Life comes first. That’s the reason why we do preemptive evacuation or at times, forced evacuation. It’s better to do preemptive evacuation even without flood yet. It’s better that way since we are just like having a practice or a drill. We will not wait for the floodwaters before we evacuate,” he added.

Residents who heed the early warning, according to Ancajas would have ample time to prepare for the necessities, they must bring when they evacuate.

He cited an instance when an evacuee arrived at an evacuation center already drenched with rain and only brought underwear, which could not protect him/her from the cold.

He also reminded evacuees to continue observing the minimum health standard protocol of wearing face masks and face shield, social distancing, and frequent hand washing while at the evacuation centers to also protect themselves from contracting the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Meanwhile, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pag-asa), announced that the tropical depression (TD) Auring has entered the  Philippine area of responsibility.

TD Auring is currently not affecting any part of the country. However, localities in Visayas, Bicol Region, MIMAROPA, Caraga, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, Cotabato, and Lanao del Sur, especially those situated in areas identified in hazard maps to be highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards, are advised to take appropriate preparatory measures due to increased of heavy rains and gusty conditions associated with the potential passage of a tropical cyclone during the weekend through Monday.