Unexpected flooding in Cagayan Valley and other parts of Luzon suggests that officials behind the country’s risk reduction and management plan must now base all preparations for typhoons and other natural disasters under a “worst case scenario” set up.
1Pacman Partylist Rep. Enrico Pineda made this proposal as he appealed to the various agencies tasked to address preparations and information for typhoons to adopt a “more prepared and proactive approach” in terms of risk reduction and management.
“It’s devastating and disheartening, what happened in Cagayan Valley. We are seeing many posts on social media with photos of ceiling-level flooded towns,” Pineda, chairman of the House Committee on Labor and Employment, lamented.
He added: “People are seeking rescue, how did this happen – what preparations have we done, from national to the local level?”
Pineda aired serious concern over devastation brought by typhoon Rolly and Ulysses.
He noted that “Ulysses” has flooded many towns in Region II, particularly the Cagayan Valley, as a result of the overflowing Cagayan river.
“Cagayan Valley has become a water basin for neighboring provinces. There was already a prediction of possible flooding. I believe there is a flood mitigation master plan,” he said.
The partylist solon said government must respond to serious questions raised by the public on the release of water from the Magat and Angat dams.
“How are we monitoring our dams and when is the right time to open their flood gates to manage its capacity? Were the residents informed to evacuate their homes from the municipal level up to the barangay level?” he asked.
To help the public and local government units better prepare for typhoon-triggered floods, Pineda said government authorities must now plan out preparations with the”worst-case scenarios” in mind.