NDRRMC: Gov't resources prepositioned to assist families displaced by 'Karding'


MANILA, Philippines (Updated 12:31 p.m.) — Government resources are in place to assist families displaced by the strong rains caused by Super Typhoon Karding, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Monday morning.

At a briefing at the office of the NDRRMC, the Department of the Interior and Local Government said that 74,542 individuals or 19,368 families were preemptively evacuated ahead of Karding's onslaught and in need of government aid.

"Presently we're organizing an airlift for [relief] supplies. Right now, those are the first areas we are [focusing on.] After we attend to basics, food, water, shelter, clothes, all of these things, and then the [Department of Social Welfare and Development] is also prepared to provide for those who are going to need living assistance," President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said at a press briefing after the NDRRMC presented its situation report.

"So the whole range of assistance is prepared, is ready to go. But right now we will put first their immediate needs."

FOLLOW: LIVE updates: Typhoon Karding

Per the inter-agency health response cluster led by the Department of Health, a total of P83 million in drugs and other medical supplies and commodities have already been made available and prepositioned in affected regions.

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos was careful to point out that while thousands were evacuated, there are still no fatalities. He attributed this to early preparations by local government units and disaster risk reduction and management officials.

However, News5 reported that five rescuers were reported dead in San Miguel, Bulacan.

Social Welfare Secretary Erwin Tulfo, for his part, said that food packs have already been distributed to some 13,000 families in affected areas.

Department of Information and Communications Technology chief Ivan Uy said that only Ilocos Norte and Quezon province reported damages to communications lines.

Outside of those, all communications are still intact due to what the DICT secretary described as "resilient" communications facilities set up by telecommunications companies. Uy noted it was still able to communicate with those areas via radio and the telco systems. 

Thousands of cops, firefighters deployed

In a statement issued later Monday, Abalos also reported that a total of 8,642 police officers of the Philippine National Police and 11,619 Bureau of Fire Protection firefighters are currently deployed to the affected regions to help in disaster relief and peace and order efforts.

Of the more than 8,000 police personnel deployed in affected regions, 3,030 are evacuation centers and vacated and affected areas, while 5,612 are in vital installations such as public markets, gas stations, terminals, warehouses, relief operation centers and other public convergence areas.

He added that 1,596 firetrucks, 103 ambulances, 22 rescue trucks, and seven rescue boats are also at disposal if the need arises. 

Citing reports from the ground, Abalos said LGUs were able to convene their respective Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils and conduct Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment meetings; activated Barangay DRRMCs for close coordination, prepositioning of necessary supplies and preparation of evacuation centers; and, conducted pre-emptive evacuations as early as Saturday before Karding made landfall.

LGUs likewise led in informing Punong Barangays of weather advisories and other relevant information; advising residents in high-risk areas to take precautionary measures, and immediately evacuate to designated safe sites, when advised by local authorities; pruning of trees, clearing of waterways, street drainage, and other preparedness measures were conducted, among others.   

Abalos also reminded local chief executives to be physically present in affected areas and communities most susceptible to disasters, before, during, and after the weather disturbance.

“It’s crucial that leaders are looking after their constituents in circumstances such as super typhoons. [Local chief executives] should be the leaders in preparing for any disaster and responding to the needs of their constituents,” the DILG chief said.

He also urged local chiefs to designate an officer-in-charge who will take charge amidst the ongoing weather situation in cases where they cannot be present.

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