Marikina prepares for disasters
MARIKINA CITY, Philippines – The city has learned its lesson.
The Marikina City government intensified its disaster response management program in preparation for the rainy season.
The Marikina City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (MCDRRMO) trained the rescuers of RESCUE 161, the city's 5-minute response hotline for medical, fire, and police assistance and 24-hour emergency medical services.
30 first-level responders of RESCUE 161 were trained in partnership with Ortigas & Co. The company also donated 16 rescue boats and life jackets to be distributed to the 16 barangays in Marikina.
Marikina Vice Mayor Fabian Cadiz expressed his gratitude for the company’s assistance. He said the aid will go a long way in helping the city cope with disasters.
“We hope that this kind of social responsibility and responsiveness…will be emulated by other corporate entities,” Cadiz added.
Marikina City was the victim of many typhoons in the past.
When Typhoon Ondoy hit in 2009, the city suffered the most casualties with 78 recorded deaths and millions worth of properties damaged. Marikina’s streets were transformed into rivers with floods reaching up to 10 feet high.
In August 2012, torrential rains brought by the southwest monsoon Habagat damaged the same places that Ondoy devastated. At least 28,556 people were moved to evacuation centers during the floods.
The past floods in the city were primarily due to the Marikina River. The river overflowed during heavy downpours and sank barangays like Tumana and Concepcion.
MCDRRMO officer-in-charge Kristin Roxas said that the local government wanted the team to help not only in rescue operations, but also with restoration and recovery.
“We want the rescue team to have a more holistic approach to disaster management, such as focusing on the residents' medical and psychological needs,” she said.
Roxas added, “This way, we can help the disaster victims to recover from their losses and become productive members of the community again.”
MCDRRMO hoped that the new equipment and training will help save lives when disasters strike the city. They continue to accept volunteers who will be given first aid and basic rescue training. –Rappler.com