Evacuation centers

ON MARCH 21 the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) turned over to the local government of San Jose, Antique a P36-million regional evacuation center.

Aside from San Jose, however, the evacuation center could also be used by other towns whenever there is disaster, according to OCD assistant secretary Casiano Monilla, and during normal days it could be utilized as a multipurpose hall.

We hope and pray the evacuation center is structurally sound. This is important. We must ensure that designated evacuation centers – and those to be built in the future – are constructed well and located on safe grounds, far from hazard-prone areas as seen in the geohazard maps.

This should actually be the rule in all infrastructures for that matter. They must be disaster-resilient. In the recent past, even evacuation centers were not spared from the wrath of typhoons like 2013’s “Yolanda.”

The resilience of our buildings and infrastructure is crucial in disaster risk reduction. We prevent or lessen deaths and damages from typhoons, earthquakes and other natural hazards with structurally sound infrastructure.

We must reduce the risks and not create new risks. If a community is prone to landslides, consult the geohazard map to see where safe evacuation relocation is possible; otherwise, we will continue to incur damages and rebuild again when disasters occur.


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