Government-led relief caravan arrives in Bicol
by MA Loterte
Legazpi City (30 October) -- The government's relief caravan has arrived in the Bicol Thursday (October 29) to preposition relief commodities in the region in preparation for typhoon Santi (Marinae) threatening this area, according to top official of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional office here.
Remia Tapispisan, DSWD Bicol regional director, said the relief caravan dubbed "Sama-samang Pagtulong Relief Caravan" headed to the different provinces of the region in the wake of the weather disturbance predicted to hit by the end of the week.
She elaborated the caravan, consists of 27 truckload of relief food packs and clothing, blankets, bottled water, will be unloaded to identified drop-off points in Bicol including Daet, Camarines Norte; Pili, Camarines Sur; Legazpi City, Albay; Sorsogon City, Sorsogon; and, Catanduanes province via Tabaco City for eventual distribution by their respective local disaster coordinating councils to residents affected by the disaster.
Brought in by the caravan were 59 sleeping mattress, a water tank, water purifier machine, 59 Polyester tanks, 59 blankets, 140 kitchen set, 622 boxes cup noodles and 1,000 packs of Medicine kits, donated by the JICA, Mc Donald, Indonesia and PCSO.
She added the government-led caravan would benefit an estimated 500,000 affected families in Bicol, to also include areas in Region IV-A (Calabarzon).
The relief commodities were drawn from contributions of government agencies, led by DSWD, as well as international relief organizations and civic society.
Meanwhile, Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council chairman met the caravan and received the relief commodities intended for the province around last night in front of the provincial capitol building in this city.
Salceda on Wednesday has placed the province under alert and monitoring status as the threats of the incoming typhoon and the heightened restiveness of Mt. Mayon have elevated the risks of a "combo disaster" to lives and properties of residents.
He said that this "complex disaster risk" must be met and matched with greater preparedness so as to meet the long standing policy for a "zero casualty" goal of the province during disasters including a pre-emptive evacuation, not rescue disaster management operations.
Disaster authorities here are expected to move out over 400,000 people or 80,000 families in the event two complex disaster occurs, this include the looming Mayon volcano eruption and the incoming typhoon.
Salceda said the province has a total population of 1.2 million and of this 471,254 people living in low lying areas, mountain range, river banks, coastal areas are at risk for floods, lahar flows, landslides this weather disturbance might trigger and villagers living at the foot of Mayon volcano for volcanic eruption.
Cedric Daep, APSEMO chief, said they are working out an action plan to enhance preparedness and evacuation procedures in these areas of concern. (PIA V) [top]