In this photo made from video by Aclimah Disumala, Friday, Dec. 22, 2017, villagers carry cross raging flood waters in Lanao del Norte, Zamboanga Pennisula, southern Philippines. A tropical storm has unleashed flash floods and set off landslides in the southern Philippines leaving dozens of people dead. Aclimah Disumala via the AP

High Vinta death toll ‘unacceptable’ amid improved disaster preparedness — Binay
(The Philippine Star) - December 26, 2017 - 9:47am

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Nancy Binay on Tuesday said that the high death toll brought by the tropical storm ‘Vinta’ (international name: Tembin) was “unacceptable” as the government improved its disaster preparedness measures.

“What happened in Zamboanga Peninsula and northern Mindanao was unacceptable despite the warnings and use of modern technology,” Binay said in a statement.

Binay has called for a full review of the disaster risk reduction and management protocols to determine “if there are loopholes in the system and the steps to take to address those.”

She added that the “zero-casualty mindset” should be applied.

At least 164 reportedly died due to landslides and flash floods triggered by Vinta, while 176 were reportedly missing, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The tropical storm, which lashed the southern Philippines at the peak of Christmas preparations, has displaced a total of 118,596 families.

The province of Lanao del Norte, as well as the towns of Siocon, Tambulig, Gutalac, Salug and Labason in Zamboanga del Norte, were placed under a state of calamity.

READ164 reported dead, 176 missing after 'Vinta' hits Mindanao

‘Gov’t exhausted every means’

Binay also called on the NDRRMC and its regional councils to conduct more trainings to local disaster responders and members of local communities.

“Ang mga training na ito ay dapat makarating sa mga household at dapat nating iangat ‘yung disaster awareness ng community at ng bawat pamilya at iangat ang kanilang adaptive capacities,” she said.

NDRRMC spokesperson Romina Marasigan maintained that the national government exhausted every means to alert people.

“Maraming beses kaming nagpalabas ng babala, nagpatawag ng press briefing para ipakita ‘yung memo on forced avacuation, humarap sa media ang dalubhasa sa Mines and Geosciences [Bureau] para maipaliwanag kung ano ang peligro na dala ng ulan,” Marasigan said in a press briefing Tuesday.

Earlier, Marasigan said NDRRMC will investigate the failure to implement preemptive evacuation in areas ravaged by Vinta.

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