DSWD to trekkers: Don't risk your lives during disasters
MANILA, Philippines – Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy Taguiwalo on Sunday, October 16, urged trekkers not to climb mountains during severe weather.
"Nananawagan tayo sa mga kabataan natin at sa mga kababayan nating mahilig mamundok – sa mga (mountaineers), kailangang iwasan natin sa panahong may malinaw na darating na bagyo. Ngayon mayroon pang parating," Taguiwalo said.
(We call on the youth, mountaineers to avoid climbing mountains when there's a typhoon. There's another one coming.)
Taguiwalo, who is also the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) vice-chairperson for disaster response, was reacting to reports that mountaineers either went missing or got stranded as Typhoon Karen (Sarika) was battering parts of Luzon.
More than 120 stranded mountaineers were rescued in Bataan and Benguet after the onslaught of Typhoon Karen. (READ: LIVE UPDATES: Typhoon Karen)
One hundred mountaineers on Mt Tarak in Mariveles, Bataan were rescued at around noon on Sunday, according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Northern Command.
Responders from the Army's 48th Infantry Battalion headed by 1st Lieutenant Francis Lobaton rescued the trapped mountaineers, of which 73 were registered while 27 were not.
Taguiwalo also announced during Sunday's press conference that 21 other stranded mountaineers on Mt Pulag were rescued.
The NDRRMC also reported that 12 trekkers were stranded in Benguet earlier but are now safe.
Taguiwalo said the DSWD will meet with mountaineering groups to discuss the protocol during disasters.
Typhoon Karen will leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Sunday night, but Typhoon Haima will enter PAR on Monday afternoon, October 17. – Rappler.com