QUEZON GEARS UP FOR ‘YOLANDA’ DEVASTATION

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LUCENA CITY: Gov. David Suarez of Quezon held an emergency meeting with various government agencies to discuss contingency plans as super Typhoon Yolanda entered the country on Thursday.

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Suarez told officials from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC), Department of Social Welfare and Development, Public Information Office, medical staff and all vital provincial government departments to be on alert and on-call until the strong typhoon leaves.

He told PDRRMC to double check all their equipment and make sure that all logistics, particularly food and medicines have ample supplies.

PDRRMC officer Dr. Henry Buzar has issued directives to DRRMOs, Barangay DRRMOs, and the media to alert Quezon residents about Typhoon Yolanda.

In his memorandum, Buzar noted that “previous histories of strong typhoons that visited the province showed that storm surges killed more people in the coastal areas, hence it is imperative to call for emergency meeting of barangay officials in highly vulnerable coastal barangays to discuss possible pre-emptive evacuation prior to TS Yolanda’s arrival.”

Meanwhile, Buzar will convene administration personnel in both public and private hospitals to discuss disaster preparedness.

“We’re not praying for it, but we have to be ready in the event earthquake comes,” Dr. Henry Buzar, citing what happened during the earthquake in Bohol and Cebu last month where people died and patients were strewn in the hospitals’ parking lot because of lack of alternative evacuation center.

“Doctors, nurses and even the patients should know how to act during an earthquake to avoid more damage to lives and property,” Buzar stressed.

He noted that all the trainings and drills that were given to people about disaster preparedness are all forgotten when actual disaster strikes, prompting them to intensify capability preparedness to instill in the people’s mind not to panic during calamity, particularly during an earthquake.

Belly M. Otordoz

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