New PRO-13 disaster response team dispatched to Caraga flooded areas

John Unson - Philstar.com
New PRO-13 disaster response team dispatched to Caraga flooded areas
A flooded area in San Luis Town in Agusan del Sur, inundated since Feb. 3, 2024 following heavy rains in the area.
Philstar.com / John Unson

COTABATO CITY — The newly organized reactionary support and rescue unit of the Police Regional Office 13 immediately acted, in what its organizers call “baptism of fire,” when rampaging floods spawned by torrential downpours swept through Butuan City and Agusan del Sur over the weekend.

As of Monday, local officials estimated the number of residents affected by the flooding of many barangays in both areas since Saturday at no less than 40,000.

The PRO 13’s 629-member Reactionary Standby Support Force and Rescue Unit was launched just last week by regional police officials led by Brig. Gen. Kirby John Kraft, after flashfloods hit many towns in the Caraga region in late January.

Officials of the risk reduction and management offices in Butuan City and in Agusan del Sur, told reporters on Monday that no fewer than 70 policemen belonging to the newly activated special contingent had been deployed in 47 evacuation centers where there are now 12,803 individuals rescued from flooded areas.

A number of barangays in towns in Agusan del Sur and in Butuan City, flooded last January, once again experienced flooding two days ago following heavy rains.

Kraft on Monday said that there were no casualties in last month’s heavy flooding in areas under PRO 13’s jurisdiction owing to the immediate joint calamity response operations of local government units, the police, the Bureau of Fire Protection and soldiers under different Army units in the region.

He said that police personnel comprising their newly activated reactionary support and rescue group had all been deployed in flooded areas in Butuan City and in several towns in Agusan del Sur to facilitate the evacuation to safe areas of flood-stricken villagers.

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