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Lanao del Sur PDRRMC levels-up disaster response

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur (PIA)--To scale up its disaster response efforts, the provincial government here, through its Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), approved the establishment of a cluster to strengthen its system for disaster response.

The PDRRMC, which is still in the infancy stage, deemed it crucial to create the Response Cluster to establish a proper, timely, and effective system for disaster response.

The particular duties and responsibilities of member agencies and institutions that will become the standard operating procedure in disaster response in the province were presented for review and approval during 3rd quarter PDRRMC meeting, September 21.

The disaster response cluster includes health; food and non-food items; search, rescue, and retrieval; logistics; emergency telecommunication; education; law and order; protection, camp coordination and management; and management of the dead and missing.

The said cluster is tasked mainly to establish mechanisms to protect lives and properties and restore the immediate needs of the affected communities during disasters, among others.

Understanding and addressing flood risk

Also presented during the PDRRMC meeting were status reports on the recent incidents in the province brought about by heavy rains, particularly floodings in the towns of Tamparan, Taraka, Kapatagan, and Malabang on September 18.

Accordingly, the flash flood in Taraka affected six barangays with 580 households. The said incident flooded 245 houses and damaged crops and six hectares of rice fields. In Tamparan town, the flash flood affected five barangays with 490 households. It also flooded 210 houses and damaged crops and five hectares of rice fields.

On the other hand, the flooding in Malabang town affected 10 barangays with 518 families affected. It flooded 239 houses and damaged root crops and hectares of rice fields.

There were no reported casualties in the floodings in these three towns. However, in Kapatagan town which also experienced flooding, one casualty was reported. Moreover, it damaged four houses and four hectares of corn fields in one barangay and affected 43 families.

PDRRMO Shaminoden Sambitory said the Ministry of Interior and Local Government through the Bangsamoro READi has previously issued a blue alert status in the region due to the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) affecting the area. 

He explained that a blue alert status means that all emergency response units across the province are mandated to stand by, monitor the situation, and be prepared for any eventuality.

"The recent [flooding] incidents were caused by the intertropical convergence zone or ITCZ that we are experiencing. Usually, pag may ITCZ, ang mga effects ay heavy rains at thunderstorms na minsan ay cause ng mga flooding at landslide (when there is an ITCZ, the effects are heavy rains and thunderstorms that sometimes cause flooding and landslides)," he said.

Provincial DRRM Officer Shaminoden Sambitory reports that the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) has caused heavy rains in the province that resulted in flash floods in the towns ofTamparan, Taraka, Malabang, and Kapatagan on September 18, 2023. (MJP/PIA-10 Lanao del Sur)

With these incidents, the provincial government stressed the need for further study and assessment of the areas prone to flooding to come up with baseline data that will serve as a basis for recommending appropriate projects to mitigate flooding risks.

"Maganda na magconduct ng assessment o study kasi kung respond lang tayo ng respond hindi natin alam kung ano pa yung mga susunod na mga mangyayari. Mag inquire tayo sa DPWH, sa BARMM, sa DENR, sa lahat ng concerned agencies with regard sa mga ganitong pangyayari [pagbaha] lalo na dito sa probinsiya na inevitable ang ulan," said provincial vice governor Mohammad Khalid "Mujam" Rakiin-Adiong.

(It's better to conduct an assessment or study because if we just respond we won't know what will happen next. Let's inquire with the DPWH, the BARMM, the DENR, and all the concerned agencies about such events [flooding], especially here in the province where rain is inevitable.)

Boosting preparedness through hazard mapping

Underscoring the importance of geohazard maps to boost disaster preparedness measures, Sambitory said that his office has already completed geohazard maps for the province.

These included a flood hazard map, landslide hazard map, volcanic hazard map, liquefaction hazard map, fault line map, storm surge hazard map, and tsunami hazard map, among others.

He said the completion was a collaborative effort of PDRRMO and other government agencies, both regional and national.

Sambitory said the maps can be used in vulnerability risk assessment and finalization of the mandated DRRM plans. (APB/PIA-10 Lanao del Sur)

Lanao del Sur Vice Governor Mohammad Khalid "Mujam" Rakiin-Adiong underscores the need for further study and assessment of the areas prone to flooding to prepare for any eventuality. (MJP/PIA-10 Lanao del Sur)

About the Author

Apipa Bagumbaran

Assistant Regional Head

Region 10

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