Batac: Ilocos Norte bracing for La Niña

(Photo courtesy of Leilanie Adriano via PNA)

Ilocos Norte localities have started preparing for La Niña through a massive information and education drive, acquisition of heavy equipment for desiltation works, and ensuring that evacuation centers and animal shelters are in place.

Marcell Tabije, head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, told the Philippine News Agency on Wednesday, said that local executives have been advised to make sure waterways are clear, all equipment including generator sets and boats are available, and search and rescue teams are prepared.

In the face of intensifying extreme temperatures, Tabije said the province continues to lead an information dissemination drive in the city and municipal disaster risk reduction management offices to prepare for the worst-case scenarios during heavy rainfall.

“We have been reminding our mayors to prepare our evacuation centers, equipment, and most especially the conduct of force or preventive evacuation in high-risk areas as we have experienced in the past—people calling for rescue when the water is already high. For their safety, they should evacuate early rather than call for rescue when their area is already flooded. This is both risky to the rescuers and those being rescued,” he said.

Citing the state weather bureau’s report, Tabije said La Niña, characterized by unusually cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific that brings heavy rains, is likely to affect the province in October or earlier.

Thus, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMRC) keeps an inventory and conducts inspection of equipment such as ambulances, dump trucks, and rubber boats, including relief goods, food packs, and medical supplies that are needed in times of calamity.

It also ensures evacuation centers and its facilities are ready and available including the regular monitoring of the health and welfare of the vulnerable sector, which include elders and persons with disabilities who are living alone to ensure zero casualty.

Meanwhile, about 50 select emergency response team members underwent basic life support training at the Capitol Auditorium on Wednesday.

“This is participated by our emergency responders from the different district hospitals as well as offices of the Ilocos Norte government,” Tabije said, adding that a blood-letting activity will be conducted on Thursday for the establishment of the province’s blood bank. (Leilanie Adriano via PNA)

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