‘Ineng’ wreaks over 600-M worth of damage in Ilocos Norte

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 26, 2019   •   1044

Rescue operations in Ilocos Norte amid the onslaught of severe tropical storm Ineng, 24 August 2019.

Tropical storm Ineng has wreaked around 600 million worth of agricultural and infrastructural damage in Ilocos Norte.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management and Resiliency Council (PDRRMC) has recorded a total of P589.5 million worth of damage as of August 25. Around 167 barangays and over 9,000 families were affected by TS Ineng.

Meanwhile, two were injured and one died in a landslide in Barangay Surong, Pasukin last Saturday morning (Aug 24).

The local government of Ilocos Norte and Laoag already declared a state of calamity due to the damage brought by the storm.

Water level in Padsan River already subsided since Sunday (Aug 25). Flood in other areas has also subsided.

Residents began cleaning up the debris and other waste left by the storm.—AAC (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

Almost 1,000 families evacuated in Caraga Region due to TD Vicky

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Almost 1,000 families have been evacuated in Caraga Region after several areas experienced flooding due to heavy rains brought by tropical depression Vicky.

According to the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), the families are currently staying in evacuation centers. Most of the evacuees came from Bislig City and Agusan del Sur.

OCD Caraga Regional Director Liza Mazo said, the families are not yet allowed to return home until authorities are certain it is already safe to do so.

Mazo also reported one incident of landslide in the region, located at Barangay Tabon in Bislig City. No casualties were reported.

Meanwhile, the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council is conducting relief operations for families affected by TD Vicky. AAC (with reports from Raymond Octobre)

Creation of Dam Committee now under discussion in NDRRMC — Usec. Solidum

Marje Pelayo   •   November 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) is currently discussing the creation of a committee that will focus on dam operations in the country.

Ang usapan sa [What’s been discussed in the] NDRRMC during the last emergency meeting ay magkaroon ng isang kumite na permanente na tumingin talaga sa issue ng [is the creation of a committee that will permanently address the issues in] dam safety operations,” Science and Technology Undersecretary Renato Solidum confirmed in an interview with UNTV.

The creation of such a specific committee is what the NDRRMC sees as a solution to ensure the safe operation of dams across the country in consideration of the surrounding communities.

The NDRRMC is composed of agencies concerned with disasters and emergencies. 

Following the deluge in Cagayan and Isabela provinces caused by Typhoon Ulysses, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año proposed the transfer of dam management to the NDRRMC, especially the control on when to release water during the onset of a typhoon.

Many see the release of water from Magat Dam as one reason that worsened the scenario in the said provinces during the typhoon.

Solidum said the proposed committee would not only oversee the releasing of water in dams but every aspect that would ensure dam safety in all forms of disaster such as earthquakes.

The official clarified, however, that the expertise of agencies currently managing the dams like the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) and dam operators will still be utilized even after dam management is transferred to the NDRRMC. 

What needs further improvement, Solidum said, is risk communication especially the aspect of giving warning signals to communities on potential threats of the dams.

“When it comes to dam operation, ang makakatulong dito yung [what will help is the] further enhancement of communication down to everyone na magamit siguro yung mga [with the use of] available text blasts o ano pang magandang pamamaraan na ginagawa [or other available means that can be utilized],” he stressed recommending early evacuation of residents from areas most prone to disasters once the PAGASA announces the need to evacuate.

Meanwhile, the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) is now planning to conduct an assessment in rivers and other waterways to determine how time changed their physical features such as their size or capacity.

The NAPOCOR is also considering pushing through with the creation of a National Dam Safety Program (NDSP).

“Mayroon na kaming naging initial na coordination dyan sa NDSP at tuloy-tuloy naman iyon [We had an initial coordination on the NDSP and it’s been ongoing],” confirmed NAPOCOR Dam Management Department Manager Conrado Sison Jr.

“Ang aim is magkaroon tayo ng isang entity or bagay na mag-address nga itong problemang ito [The aim is to have an entity that will address all these problems],” he added. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Death toll in Cagayan Valley due to the typhoon reaches 30

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Death toll in Cagayan Valley due to Typhoon Ulysses has reached 30 according to the Office of Civil Defense Region II.

The region also recorded 14 casualties from a landslide; 13 from drowning and three from electrocution. Thirteen of the casualties were from Cagayan, 10 from Nueva Vizcaya, five from Isabela, and 2 were from Quirino.

Meanwhile, 10 roads and bridges remain closed in Tuguegarao City due to structural damage and flooding.

Clean-up drives are ongoing in the region as floodwaters brought by Ulysses continue to recede. AAC (with reports from Grace Doctolero)

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