Friday, August 23, 2019

Editorial: Evacuate when told

File photo

ONE of the ongoing problems when it comes to disaster risk reduction and management in the country is the stubbornness of many people to leave their homes when disaster strikes.

On Wednesday evening, January 23, the Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) activated its city-wide siren to alarm residents living in areas near the rivers. This after the water level at the Davao River had risen to alarming level. The siren signifies the barangays to conduct forced evacuation.

Despite the efforts of the CDRRMO to force evacuate the people, there were still some residents in some areas who refused to leave their homes.

One of SunStar Davao's photojournalists covering the incident last night noted that some residents were saying that there is no need for them to evacuate because the water has not overflowed from the river. During that time water levels in some portions of the Davao River was already at the orange level, which is quite alarming already.

Historically, the stubbornness of people during an impending natural disaster never ends well. Should the warning levels reach red, then the water at the Davao River would overflow. This will leave people who did not evacuate immediately to be stuck at their homes. For those with second floor, they would find themselves taking refuge there. Others might make their way to the roof. Sadly for some, they would die before they could seek help or save themselves.

Many of us have sentimental attachments to our homes. However, when a natural disaster is coming our way, we should take the necessary precautions to ensure our own safety and our family; bring only what is important. Your house is not strong enough to withstand mother nature's wrath.

We should never underestimate mother nature. It is and will always be unpredictable. If there’s flood, typhoon, volcanic eruption, when the CDRRMO personnel tell you to go, you go. Don't wait for things to get worse before you ask for help. You are not only risking your lives but also of the personnel trying to safeguard yours.


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