Oro now better prepared in handling disasters

CAGAYAN de Oro City is now 'highly capable' to respond to disasters, an official of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said during the kickoff of the National Disaster Consciousness Month at Xavier University on Friday, July 1.

Devastated by typhoon Sendong in 2011, the city is now capable in preparing for disasters especially with the backing of city ordinances such as the crafting of a flood contingency plan, identifying flood-prone barangays, and on implementing a no-build zones in the city according to OCD-Northern Mindanao director Ana Cañeda.

Cañeda said the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) is now being updated by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

"In terms of preparations, the city has undergone trainings and have set its priorities particularly in flood-prone areas," Cañeda said.

Response assets such as dump trucks and other transportation, an improved communications protocol, and integrated flood warning equipment have been purchased, which she said, are important for disaster response.

"Ang unang concern ay ang pagbutang sa tao sa safety, katong along the creeks and riverbanks. Kana sila ang priority," she said.

“Gi-improve na tanan sa local government units ang mga evacuation center. Naay tubig, naay suga, gidugangan ug toilets ug ang covered courts ang atong mga communities para lang maka-preparar kita," Cañeda said.

Cañeda also cited the constant practice of responders in rainfall reading from areas of Libona, Talakag, Manolo Fortich and Baungon which, she said, may help in warning residents of flood-prone areas of the city.

The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council recently identified that the provinces of Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental as critical areas for flashfloods.

Among the government agencies which participated during Friday’s static display at Xavier University are the Department of Science and Technology, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Health, Police Regional Office 10, Department of Education, National Nutrition Council, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine National Red Cross, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, 5th Infantry Brigade of Philippine Army, Philippine Coast Guard, National Economic and Development Authority, Smart Telecommunications, and Xavier University Engineering Resource Center. (With reports from BGUMPA and NSALIC/MSU-Marawi Interns)

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