Legarda urges local governments to ready for 'Chedeng'

MANILA -- With tropical storm "Chedeng" forecast to dump as much rain as 2009's "Ondoy", Senator Loren Legarda reminded local governments Tuesday that they should already have emergency plans in place.

Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on climate change, said local government units (LGUs) should be ready with early warning systems in

case of flooding.

"They should have their whistles, sirens, and warning flags ready to alert (the people)," she said.

She added LGUs should unclog canals and drainage systems in anticipation of heavy rains.

Meanwhile, people living in flood and landslide-prone areas along Chedeng's path should be evacuated, she said.

"Disaster preparedness is essential to minimize, if not totally prevent, loss of lives and property damages when natural hazards like typhoons strike," Legarda said.

The senator has been campaigning for better disaster risk reduction and management programs in LGUs.

She said because local governments are closer to the people, they are in a better strategic position to identify risks and to come up with solutions for them.

Among the safety measures she has been promoting are the strengthening of essential infrastructure like hospitals and schools, identifying disaster-prone areas, and setting up early warning systems against landslides and flash floods.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical

Services Administration, the eastern part of the country can expect heavy rains from Chedeng by Wednesday.

Tropical Storm "Ondoy", which hit the Philippines in 2009, forced the government to put Metro Manila and 25 provinces under a state of calamity because of widespread flooding. The weather bureau recorded rainfall from "Ondoy" at 56 mm of rain per hour. (Jonathan de

Santos/Sunnex)

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