BY GLENDA TAYONA and IME SORNITO
ILOILO City – The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Western Visayas ordered all local government units (LGUs) to craft “earthquake action plans.”
It also ordered local disaster risk reduction and management councils (DRRMCs) to submit an inventory of equipment for Collapsed Structures Search and Rescue (CSSR) and list of personnel who underwent CSSR training.
From what the OCD so far gathered, 103 personnel of local disaster councils already completed their (CSSR) training.
According to OCD regional director Jose Roberto Nuñez, the Regional DRRM Council will assess the earthquake preparations of LGUs.
Should there be recommendations, the Department of Public Works and Highways and local engineering offices would be tapped, said Nuñez, also the chairperson of the Regional DRRM Council.
Citing the series of earthquakes that hit Cotabato province in Mindanao, Nuñez said “there is an urgent need to establish preparedness measures and arrange response priorities ahead of time.”
A magnitude 6.3 hit Cotabato on Oct. 16; magnitude 6.6 on Oct. 29 and magnitude 6.5 on Oct. 31.
The regional director also reiterated RDRRMC Memorandum No. 031-2019 dated April 23, 2019 which called for a joint conduct of integrity assessment of all structures.
So far, said Nuñez, only the Department of Education in Guimaras, Department of Interior and Local Government in Region 6, LGU of Patnongon, Antique and LGU of Tapaz, Capiz have conducted structural integrity assessments.
“I appeal to the LGUs na dapat mag-cooperate sila sa mga memos na pinapalabas natin. We have to take (earthquakes) seriously…dapat handa po tayo. Tapos kung ano ‘yung mga emergency evacuation plans, just contact the OCD para tulungan namin kayo na mabigyan ng training,” said Nuñez.
Western Visayas has two earthquake fault lines (Panay Trench and Negros Trench).
“Huwag na nating hintayin kung kailan gagalaw…dapat may preparedness,” said Nuñez./PN