Amid rains, Mt. Mayon ashfall, CamSur ensures preparedness
By Estel Estropia PILI, Camarines Sur --- The Provincial Government of Camarines Sur convened the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) for an emergency meeting last January 15 to discuss the weather disturbances, Incident Management Team status, and Mt. Mayon ashfall’s effect to the Rinconada areas. In the meeting attended by representatives from the Department of Health, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Information Agency, Bureau of Fire and Protection, and Armed Forces of the Philippines, the council agreed to approve three resolutions that will help ensure CamSur’s readiness for weather disturbances and emergency situations. First is the resolution for the involvement of Barangay Captains in DRRM-related activities. Second is the adaption of the Incident Management Team (IMT) for Mt. Mayon and other related disturbances. Third is the resolution authorizing Governor Migz Villafuerte to extend assistance to the Province of Albay. It can be recalled that on the night of January 11, Thursday, up to the next day, Camarines Sur experienced continuous heavy rains due to the tail end of a cold front that caused flooding, landslide, and spillway overflow. A total of 121 barangays spread across 25 municipalities with 14,483 families were affected. A day after the incessant rains, the provincial government immediately held simultaneous distribution of relief assistance to affected families from Barangay Sta. Lucia, San Juan, San Isidro, Monserrat, and Sto. Tomas in the municipality of Magarao and Barangay Pagao, San Antonio, Sto. Domingo, San Roque, San Isidro, and San Jose in the municipality of Bombon. Barangay San Agustin, Talidtid, Sta. Cruz, San Jose, Baras, and Del Rosario in the municipality of Canaman and Barangay Tarosanan, San Francisco, Sua, Sto. Domingo, San Jose, San Pablo, and San Roque in the municipality of Camaligan also received relief assistance. In the municipality of Gainza, relief assistance was also provided to Barangay Sampaloc, Loob, Malbong, Poblacion, Cagbunga, Dahilig, and Namuat. “Me and my wife are the only ones at home. It is comforting to know that the provincial government is with us in this time of need, since we are both already old, and we find it hard to recover from disasters,” said 81 year-old pinangat vendor Maximo Daza. Another evacuee from Canaman, Flor Pel, also shared, “Our house was severely damaged and we ran out of food supply. Receiving food assistance for our five children was a life saver for us.” As regards Mt. Mayon’s ashfall, the PDRRMC on January 16, Sunday, also ordered an IMT in the municipalities of Iriga, Bato, and Buhi to monitor the ashfall in the Rinconada areas, disseminate information and spread awareness on ashfall effects to schools and barangays, and to update people in the Rinconada area on the extent of the ashfall from Mt. Mayon. The province also has an area monitoring team based in Iriga City. Apart from this, all barangays of Iriga, Bato, and Buhi also received 1 tarpaulin each on the health effects of the ashfall as part of the province’s information, education, and communication initiatives. As of writing, the provincial government continues to monitor the effects of the heavy rains brought about by the tail-end of the cold front.