CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – Government bodies in Northern Mindanao said preparations are now being done to mitigate possible damages that would be brought by tropical storm Vinta (international name: Tembin) when it hits the region.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development-10 (DSWD-10) has activated its quick response team (QRT) Thursday afternoon, December 21, in preparation for Vinta’s landfall.
DSWD-10 regional director Nestor Ramos said the agency has put in place its supplies of food and non-food items to all provinces in the region, namely, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, and Misamis Oriental.
Some 30,000 family food backs are “prepositioned” while the DSWD-10 has a standby fund of P3 million to augment what the local government units have for disaster operations, according to Ramos in a statement.
He added that the regional office will also closely monitor and coordinate with local disaster risk reduction management office of LGUs as they are the first to respond during emergencies.
DSWD-10 information officer Charmaine Tadlas said the food packs and hygiene kits are ready to be released if needed.
But, she said, the distribution of relief goods will depend on the request of the local government units.
Misamis Oriental Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano, meanwhile, has ordered all rescue and response teams and provincial capitol officials to be on alert mode and to forgo celebrating Christmas with their families when Vinta is expected to make landfall.
“Hopefully, it will not come, but all our heavy equipment, all our disaster teams, the PDRRMO will always be on red alert during that time,” the official said.
He said the provincial government has 500 PDRRMO personnel with various expertise in emergency response, including the province’s local government-owned hospitals to cater to the medical needs of the residents.
City Social Welfare and Development head Teddy Sabuga-a said they have 400 sacks of rice and 500 pieces of hygiene kits ready to be handed out if there are evacuees from villages affected by the Vinta landfall.
In Iligan City, vice mayor Jemar Vera Cruz said local government activities have been called off to “prepare for worst.”
Damages brought by tropical storm Sendong (international name: Washi) in 2011 here still lingers in the memories of the many. At the time, thousands of houses and properties were ruined by flood that cascaded from the mountains, bringing debris as it went on its way to the sea.
Vessels traversing between Iligan City and Cebu have also been barred from plying the route, according to Antolin Cayabo, the Philippine Coast Guard’s station commander here.
As of Thursday afternoon, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Department has raised the “yellow warning” on evacuation protocol after the state weather bureau declared Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro under signal no. 2.
The yellow warning means those living in flood-prone areas are advised to get ready for evacuation and are even encouraged to leave their homes. (with reports from Divina Suson / davaotoday.com)#VintaPH, Charimaine Tadlas, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Nestor Ramos, Tropical Storm, Vinta, Yevgeny Vicente Emano