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PIA Press Release

RDCC-10 conducts 5-day WASAR training

by Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob

Cagayan de Oro City (28 April) -- A simulation exercise on how to respond to flood and landslide incidents will highlight the Water Search and Rescue (WASAR) Training conducted by the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council of Region 10 (RDCC) at Gardenia Guesthouse, Macasandig, Cagayan de Oro City.

Regional Director Carmelito A. Lupo of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), region 10, said the 5-day training which runs from April 25-29, 2007 is aimed at enhancing the disaster preparedness and response capacity of local responder groups from the regionís five(5) provinces and eight (8) cities, particularly to flooding and landslide incidents.

He also said the WASAR training is primarily focused on Basic Life Support/ Management of Water-Related Emergencies such as, Life Saving Techniques to include surface diving and underwater swim, Rescue Boat Operations to include boat handling, safety, recovery and handling of victims and Rope Operations.

The training is handled by expert trainers from the following government agencies: 505th Search and Rescue, 3rd Squadron and Tactical Operations Group (TOG) of the Philippine Air Force (PAF), Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau (MGB) of the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Philippine National Police (PNP).

Dept. of Health (DOH), Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA), Makati Rescue, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Bureau of Fire Protection-Search and Rescue Unit (BFP-SRU) and OCD.

Meanwhile, he said disaster preparedness trainings like WASAR are specially significant not only because of the recent typhoons but because of Northern Mindanaoís geographical location and record of flood occurrences in its low-lying areas situated within the coastal sections, river deltas and floodplains.

A natural hydrological phenomenon, flood is an abnormal progressive rise in the water level of a stream/river that may result in overflowing from its normal confines and subsequent inundation of areas which are not submerged in water.

It is usually the aftermath of meteorological events that include intense and prolonged rainfall spells and usually high coastal and estuarine waters due to storm urges and seismic activities in coastal areas particularly susceptible to flooding due to tsunamis or seismic sea waves.

There are five (5) types of floods: flash floods which are of short duration but of great volume in terms of amount of run-off water, rivierine floods which may continue for a period from a few hours to many days, sheet floods which are the downstream counterpart of flashfloods but with longer duration and coastal or tidal floods which may extend over a long distance along a coastline but with usually short duration.

Accordingly, riverine flooding is probably the most common type of flood that has been affecting Northern Mindanao, Engr. Juanito A. Manzano, Chief Geologist of MGB-10 said.

Based on the geomorphic characteristics of certain parts of the region, MGB-10 initially came up with a listing of the identified flood-prone areas in the following provinces:

Bukidnon - areas along the Maridugao, Malutipay and Sagayan rivers affecting Kalilangan and the neighboring towns of Pangantukan and Kadingilan, those near the banks of the Pulangi River affecting Valencia City, Maramag, Quezon, Don Carlos, Kitaotao, Dangcagan, Kibawe, Damulog, San Fernando towns and along the rivers of Tigua, Malitbog and Muleta including the smaller northeast-flowing creeks such as the Lapao, Tinugpaan, Bantayan and Marabog Creeks in Pangantucan and Maramag.

Camiguin - areas located at the deltaic sections of Angalan, Dingasan, Looc and Puti Rivers of Catarman, Mabini and Balbagon Creeks of Mambajao and Mahinay River in Mahinog.

Lanao del Norte - areas near the banks of Mandulog, Iligan, Pugaan and Bayug Rivers particularly Barangays Mahayahay, Tubod, Tambacan, Abuno, Santiago, Poblacion, Villaverde, Saray, Tibanga, Suarez, Maria Cristina and Tomas Cabili in Iligan City, Larapan River in boundary of Linamon and Kauswagan and the estuatires of Bulod and Sagadan Rivers in Tubod, its capital town.

Misamis Occidental - all towns and cities in the province, except for Concepcion and Don Mariano which are located in the hinterlands, are prone to coastal flooding, especially, those areas within the low-lying floodplains and the distributary channels of the Diuyu, Langaran, Daisug, Paypayan, Oroquieta, Tipan, Dulapo, Aloran, Palilan, Panaon, Sumasap, Sinacaban, Sinonoc, Salug, Labo, Clarin, Tudela, Maradji and Demoroc Rivers.

Misamis Oriental - areas near the coastal lowlands along the mouth of the Odiongan and Samay Rivers, those near the banks and floodplains of the Mangiskis and Malubog Rivers in Gingoog City, those near the Agusan, Biga-an, Cugman, Cagayan, Iponan and Umalag Rivers and Bitan-ag Creek in Cagayan de Oro City and the rivers of Molugan, Tagoloan, Balatucan, Musi-musi, Balingasag, Alubijid, Initao and Talaboan in Naawan including the Talisayan Creek. (PIA 10) [top]

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