Uniform flood alert system urged in Bukidnon

Bukidnon News.Net official Logo for site2MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News.Net/16 January) The Bukidnon provincial board passed a resolution Wednesday urging the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office to adapt a uniform flood alert system in the province’s flood prone areas.

Board member Jay Albarece, proponent, said it is high time for the use of a commonly understood warning system as “floods due to heavy rains have been the leading cause of fatality, injury and property loss in the province during calamities.”

“The recent practice of ordering the pre-emptive and often forced evacuation in the flood prone areas before the floods arrive has proven to be an effective way of preventing casualties in such calamities,” he added in his draft.

Provincial board members unanimously approved the proposed resolution after deciding that an ordinance should follow through to ensure effective implementation.

16 January Walter floodAlbarece said the measure is to help ensure “a more timely, efficient and coordinated disaster preparedness among the Local Government Units in the province.”,

“… The present method of flood warning can be improved by adapting a uniform warning system for all the flood prone rivers specially those which traverse multiple municipalities or cities in the province,” her added.

Albarece proposed a warning system but cited that it needed further technical review by weather specialists.

He also proposed that every time heavy rainfall, about 80 millimeters in 12 hours for examples, is expected in the province, within 24 hours, the PDRRMO may consider issuing a separate and regular, possibly hourly, alert on the commonly flooded rivers.

Albarece said the same should be issued to all radio stations, as well as to all the concerned and city and municipal LDRRMOs (local disaster risk reduction and management offices).

He identified the rivers such as Pulangi River in  the towns of San Fernando, Maramag, Quezon, Don Carlos, Kitaotao, Dancagan, Kibawe, Damulog, and Valencia City; Maridugao River in the towns of Kalilangan, Pangantucan and Kadingilan; and Muleta River in the towns of Pangantucan and Maramag.

Bukidnon’s cumulative disaster risk reduction and management fund around P125 million from 2010 to 2012 is not enough for the support needed to cover damages to life, property and crops.

Vice Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr. told the provincial board Wednesday the provincial government needed additional P60 million to provide assistance to victims, including rice and corn farmers in the agriculture-rich province.

‘Pablo’ was the first typhoon that carried a storm signal #3 to Bukidnon, a province previously assumed to be typhoon-free. (Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News.Net)