CDO mulls ‘lockdown’ policy in future disaster response opsPosted on
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY–The repeated occurrence of flooding in the city’s main roads has prompted the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) to consider a “lockdown” policy for the safety of people stranded in flooded areas.
CDRRMO chief Verner Monsanto presented this proposal during a post-evaluation briefing on July 11, following waist-deep flooding in one of the city’s major thoroughfares a day earlier.
Caused by hours of heavy rainfall, the flash flood trapped hundreds of people, who had to be rescued by trucks.
“Our intention here is to make this policy as an ordinance, so that the public, especially the parents (of stranded students), would not worry,” Monsanto said. “It’s part of the responsibility of the government to ensure the safety and security of the people.”
Monsanto said a “lockdown” means people inside flooded schools, businesses, and other establishment will not be allowed to venture outside until rescue arrives.
In addition, he said flooded streets should be sealed off from motorists.
The CDRRMO chief noted that some motorists often insist on negotiating flooded streets, resulting in a gridlock that hampers rescue effort.
Monsanto said the “lockdown” rule may be implemented during major weather anomalies, such as typhoons, the presence of a low-pressure area, and thunderstorms accompanied by heavy rainfall.
Acting City Administrator Teodoro Sabuga-a Jr. acknowledged that the “lockdown” proposal would require broad support from the public.
He said the provision of food and other necessities for trapped people during a lockdown should also be taken into consideration.
Sabuga-a noted that based on their monitoring, floodwaters usually subside after an average of four hours. If flooding occurs in the evening, stranded people “need to at least consume small servings of food and water.”
Meanwhile, City Councilor Teodulfo “Bong” Lao Jr., who heads the city council’s committee on public utilities, said the legislative body will tackle the CDRRMO’s recommendations for the crafting of an appropriate ordinance and corresponding implementing rules and regulations.
Lao also said the city’s disaster response and preparedness have recently seen significant improvements with the activation of deputized civilian enforcers at the barangay level. These civilian volunteers, he said, are being trained to assist disaster response teams.
The CDRRMO said it will continue monitoring the torrential rain that has been going on since July 9, which the state weather bureau attributed to the southwest monsoon affecting Northern Mindanao. (PNA)