Mandaue to bring back disaster info drive, simulation exercises

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THE Mandaue City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MCDRRMO) will bring back disaster information and education campaigns (IEC), as well as simulation evacuation exercises in barangays following the flooding on September 9.

Buddy Alain Ybañez, MCDRRMO head, told reporters on Monday, September 12, 2022, that the activities will help people to be prepared should severe calamities happen, such as the flood that affected several areas in Mandaue on Friday.

Ybañez said the challenge they had on September 9 was that some individuals waited for the MCDRRMO to rescue them and did not proactively evacuate.

"Some of them they already saw the water rising, but still they chose to evacuate the last minute and wait for us (MCDRRMO) and their BDRRMO (Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office) to rescue them," said Ybañez in Cebuano.

Ybañez said people could have been complacent, considering flooding has always been normal in Mandaue but stressed that it is dangerous.

Ybañez said they opt to return their disaster information and education campaigns (IEC) simulation exercises for proper evacuation within barangays, especially to the city's flood-prone areas (Barangays Centro, Looc, Opao, Umapad, Cambaro, Subangdaku, and Paknaan.)

Ybañez said they would closely coordinate with the BDRRMOs with the implementation of these activities.

In the future, in case of disasters, they would not need to wait for the MCDRRMO and could directly go to their designated evacuation centers safely, said Ybañez.

Ybañez also said they aim to educate citizens, particularly those living in flood-prone areas, about the dangers they will face in times of calamities.

Ybañez also hopes these individuals, especially those living within the three-meter easement of Mandaue City's major rivers, will be relocated as soon as possible.

Ybañez said clearing the river's three-meter easement would be the best solution to stop the flood from recurring.

"Maybe they don't know it, but they are also putting their own lives in danger," Ybañez added.

On September 9, some portions of the Butuanon River overflowed minutes after a downpour that flooded several areas in Mandaue City.

Karlo Cabahug, head of the MCDRRMO research and planning division, said the flooding happened because there were heavy rains in the river's upper stream mountainous area, resulting in the strong surge of water in the river’s downstream.

Heavily affected areas were Barangays Casuntingan, Umapad, Paknaan, Maguikay, and Alang-Alang.

Cabahug said the waters within these areas were from waste to at least head level.

There were about 16 homes that were wiped out, but no one was harmed by the incident.

About 500 families and 1,837 individuals were evacuated from their homes last Friday, based on the latest data from the Mandaue City Social Services Office. (HIC)