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More casualties recorded due to tropical storm “Vinta”

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, 27 December 2017 07:56 AM


MANILA, Philippines — Authorities continue to conduct search and retrieval operations for missing individuals after the onslaught of tropical storm Vinta in the region of Zamboanga.

Forty residents of Zamboanga remain missing, while 70 others were confirmed dead.

Sixty-five of the casualties were residents of Zamboanga del Norte, while five were from Zamboanga Sibugay.

Despite the ongoing relief operations for affected residents, many of them are still having extreme difficulty after the powerful typhoon wreaked havoc in their region.

“Kaya ngayon nagmomoblema ako kung ano ang gagastusin ko dito sa mga kakailanganin ( I’m having problems on where to get money to spend for our needs,” said Robin Alimpong, relative of a casualty.

Albinia Agan, a resident of Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay said, ” Isa talaga sa kailangan namin ay banig, kumot, kulambo, kaldero dahil yung mga nawalan ng bahay, walang-wala talaga (Among our needs are beddings, blankets, mosquito nets, pots. After we lost our homes, we also lost our valuables).”

Meanwhile, typhoon Vinta has also damaged 542 infrastructures, while 2,250 affected residents are still staying at temporary shelters.

Two national highways remain closed. These are in the municipalities of Mahayag and Salug, where the bridges have been also damaged.

According to Junalyn Maravillo, an officer of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management of the Kabasalan Municipality, the residents have to follow warnings in case another calamity strikes so as to avoid many casualties.

“Although informed sila dahil kung hindi sila nainformed lahat sila ay malulunod. Informed sila na mag-preemptive evacuation na sa upper area kaya sudden talaga ang pagtaas ng water level,  (Although they had been informed, because if they were not, they would have drowned by now. They were informed about the pre-emptive evacuation in the upper area. The rise in the water level was really sudden),” said Maravillo.

Maravillo also emphasized that authorities and local government officials properly issued warnings and advisories to the region’s residents.

However, the disaster response officer noted that the residents had just refused to evacuate from their homes. — Leslie Longboen | UNTV News and Rescue


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Mosque explosion an isolated case – Zamboanga Police

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, 31 January 2019 10:17 AM

The bodies of 2 killed in the grenade blast in Masjid Jutay in Barangay Talon-Talon in Zamboanga City. (PNP Region 9 Office)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Authorities believe that the grenade attack on a mosque in the city, which killed two people and injured four others, is an isolated case.

Authorities suspect that it stemmed from a personal grudge because the victims were not residents of the place and perhaps the suspects as well.

It could also be politics, the police said, since one of the victims was a barangay councilman in the town of Basilan.

“I-che-check po natin. May kaalitan ba sila doon? Politically inclined ba ang mga persons (involved)? Makikipag-coordinate po tayo,” assured ZCPO Spokesperson PCInsp. Shellamie Chang. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Dante Amento)

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Public schools should not be used as evacuation centers — DepEd

by admin   |   Posted on Thursday, 17 January 2019 12:24 PM

A public school classroom being used as temporary shelter by typhoon evacuees

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) wants school classes to go on uninterrupted despite the occurrence of calamities.

This is why the department is putting a stop to the practice of using schools as evacuation centers for disaster-stricken residents.

“It also stands its position that public schools are not to be used as evacuation centers in order to ensure the continuity of education given in the worst calamity situation,” said DepEd Undersecretary Alain del Pascua.

The provision is included in the Comprehensive School Safety (CSS) Project, which was officially launched in Pasig City on January 16.

The DepEd said more than 44,000 schools were affected by calamities from 2016 to 2018 in which 39,000 of them were hit by tropical cyclones; more than 21,000 were struck by earthquakes; and 17, 937 others served as evacuation centers.

The department will meet with local governments about the creation of their respective evacuation centers for displaced residents in times of calamities.

“DepEd has the support of the President that the local government should build separate evacuation centers and avoid using the schools as such,” said Pascua.

In partnership with some non-government organizations (NGO), the DepED have started jump-started a number of programs such as the relocation of schools, psychological first-aid training and mobile apps to prepare the school for calamities.

“Iyong information system, makakalap niya ang impormasyon sa mga eskwelahan kung ano ang state of safety in the schools and guide the schools in terms of planning,” said DepEd DRRM Director Ronilda Co. — Aileen Cerrudo    | UNTV News and Rescue

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REPASO 2018: Calamities, disasters and the wrath of Mayon

by admin   |   Posted on Tuesday, 1 January 2019 01:45 AM


Typhoon Ompong is the strongest tropical cyclone that hit the country this year.

Before dawn on September 14, Ompong wreaked havoc in the province of Cagayan.

Several houses and some hectares of plantations were destroyed by the typhoon.

Aerial view of the housing community in Baggao, Cagayan, where Typhoon Ompong, internationally known as Super Typhoon Mangkhut made its first landfall

Apart from Cagayan, Benguet, Isabela and Ilocos Region were also battered.

In Benguet, more than 70 people died in the landslide in Itogon during the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong.

In October, Typhoon Rosita entered the country and made its landfall.


Typhoon Rosita onslaught in Watwat Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya on October 30, 2018

Unlike Ompong, Rosita was weaker than Ompong however it barreled past Northern Luzon.

It wreaked havoc in the provinces of Isabela and other nearby provinces.

Aside from the Benguet landslide, a massive landslide also occurred in Naga, Cebu.


Aerial shot of Naga, Cebu after  a tragic landslide struck the city

On September 20, a part of a mountain in Brgy. Tinaan collapsed.

More than 80 individuals were buried alive in the incident.

On August 28, Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) discovered a huge chunk of the mountain, which was then recommended as not threatening.

Naga mayor ordered the cease of quarrying in the area, however, MGB advised the resume of the operation.

But rock fissure went massive due to non-stop rain. Then the soil quality weakened and caused rock slides.

After the deadly incident, the local government decided to relocate the affected residents in the area.

Meanwhile, Mayon Volcano has started belching ashes in January.


White smoke coming out of the Mayon volcano on the morning of February 15, 2018. (UNTV Drone Journalism)

PHIVOLCS has been monitoring the abnormal volcanic activities of Mayon since August 2017.

Due to its volcanic eruption, many nearby cities were covered with ashes.

Many plantations were damaged due to ashes which can caused health risks to residents.

Many residents residing within the 6-kilometer radius evacuated in fear of lava flow.

The volcanic activity lasted for a month.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said that they will further intensify their efforts to prepare Filipinos in times of calamities.

“Marami na tayo nagagawa kung tutuusin pero for a disaster-prone country like the Philippines, dapat palagi tayo nag-iinovate. We should continue to reinvent, not to reinvent but enchance kasi yung palagi nating sinasabi yung bago mag-Yolanda yung abnormal noon is the new normal now. So dapat level up din tayo hindi lang sa responde kundi sa pagaaral,” said NDRRMC Spokesperson Edgar Posadas.

Meanwhile, at the Congress, the proposed creation of Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) has been passed and is awaiting the approval of the Senate.

The DDR is the primary agency to focus on preparation, response, and rehabilitation in areas struck by a calamity.

Once signed into law, the NDRRMC will be abolished. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue

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