THE public is discouraged in using vehicles during massive evacuations, the Davao City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) reminded.
“Ayaw mo paggamit og sakyanan during massive evacuation. Kanang gagamit og sakyanan, maulahi rana tungod traffic naman na siya nga panahona (Do not use any vehicle during massive evacuation. Those who use vehicles will be left behind since the roads will be congested due to traffic during that time),” CDRRMO operations officer Rodrigo Bustillo said.
Bustillo said the office had been emphasizing this during the series of earthquake and other disaster preparedness drills CDRRMO has been conducting.
He said evacuees are advised to “walk faster than the normal” once the sirens are alarmed for evacuation. However, he said this is not being followed.
In the evening of October 15, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit North Cotabato, which was felt by neighboring areas, including Davao City.
Hours after the quake, news of a supposed tsunami alert circulated online, causing public panic to those living in coastal areas.
Hundreds of residents from Matina Aplaya, Matina Crossing, Matina Pangi, Talomo Proper, Binugao, Sirawan, Lizada, Daliao, Toril Proper, Crossingaayabas, Lubugan, Bucana, 21-C, 22-C, Dumoy, and Bago Aplaya evacuated after being misled by false information.
During that time, heavy traffic occurred from downtown going to Matina.
However, CDDRMO immediately clarified that there was no impending tsunami, causing them not to issue any warning.
This resulted to the apprehension of two individuals responsible for spreading false information on Thursday, October 16. Other individuals are still at large.
Bustillo also said using vehicles during evacuation are discouraged to allow the emergency response vehicles to enter the premises.
“Maglisod og sulod ang mga emergency response vehicle especially mga ambulance. Hilabi na sa may coastal roads kung asa guot kaayo ang dalan diraa (The emergency response vehicles, especially ambulances, would struggle to enter the premises. Notably in the coastal roads wherein the roads are narrow),” he said.
The official, meanwhile, said the public should take seriously the emergency drills CDDRMO is conducting to avoid casualties in the future in times of disaster.
He also underscored the importance of preparing a “Go Bag” or an emergency-preparedness bag, which includes food, medicine, and other important items.