REPASO 2018: Calamities, disasters and the wrath of Mayon

admin   •   January 1, 2019   •   2915


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

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

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 26, 2019

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)

Public schools should not be used as evacuation centers — DepEd

admin   •   January 17, 2019

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

Indonesia tsunami kills at least 222

admin   •   December 24, 2018


Victims placed in body bags | REUTERS

A tsunami killed at least 222 people and injured hundreds on the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra following an underwater landslide believed caused by the erupting Anak Krakatau volcano, officials and media said on Sunday (December 23).

Hundreds of homes and other buildings were “heavily damaged” when the tsunami struck, almost without warning, along the rim of the Sunda Strait late on Saturday, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the disaster mitigation agency, said.

Thousands of residents were forced to evacuate to higher ground. By 1040 GMT, the disaster agency had raised the death toll to 222 from 168, with 843 injured and 28 missing.

Coastal residents reported not seeing or feeling any warning signs, such as receding water or an earthquake, before waves of 2-3 meters (6-10 feet) washed ashore, according to media.

The timing of the tsunami, over the Christmas holiday season, evoked memories of the Indian Ocean tsunami triggered by an earthquake on Dec. 26 in 2004, which killed 226,000 people in 14 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

Authorities warned residents and tourists in coastal areas around the Sunda Strait to stay away from beaches and a high-tide warning remained in place through until December. 25.

Anak Krakatau, an active volcano roughly halfway between Java and Sumatra, has been spewing ash and lava for months. It erupted again just after 9 p.m. on Saturday (December 22) and the tsunami struck at around 9.30 p.m., according to BMKG.

The eruption of Krakatau, previously known as Krakatoa, in 1883 killed more than 36,000 people in a series of tsunamis. — Reuters


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