Manila sets up emergency units


THE city government of Manila said that no evacuation has been carried out despite the heavy rain spawned by Tropical Depression “Maring”.

Emergency units, however, have been placed on standby for immediate deployment to low-lying communities when needed.

Danny Yu, head of the city Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, said that among the flooded areas in Manila as of 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday were United Nations Avenue-Otis southbound and northbound; Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard-Pureza eastbound; Quirino-Pedro Gil eastbound and westbound; R. Papa; Taft-Kalaw; and España-Lacson westbound.

R. Papa Street around the Light Rail Transit station was not passable briefly in the morning but the flood subsided immediately after the rain stopped before 8 a.m.

“Manila has a P30-million mobile command center which also functions as Incident Command Unit, a heavy-duty rescue truck, an amphibious truck, a mobile kitchen, and a hazardous-material vehicle,” Estrada said.

As of posting time, no fatality has been reported in Manila.

Meanwhile, the Manila Police District Office has readied three six-by-six trucks to help ferry stranded commuters.

A truck can accommodate at least 50 passengers.

Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada vowed to get rid the esteros or creeks where informal settlers have set up their houses, seen as one of the major causes of flooding.

Residents of Estero Dela Reina in Binondo were transferred to government relocation sites in Norzaragay, Bulacan and Montalban, Rizal and given P18,000 each.

Last May, Estrada also signed an agreement with Chinese real estate developer Shanghai Nanjiang (Group) Co., LTD for a major mass housing project for 7,000 informal settlers living in esteros and other high-risk areas.

“Imagine the condition they were living in when strong typhoons hit us, that’s why we are moving heaven and earth to get them out there, and provide them with safer and decent homes,” the mayor said.

Estrada has also instructed City Social Welfare Chief Nanet Tanyag to prepare enough food stock that could feed at least 10,000 people.  JAIME R. PILAPIL



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