By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Provincial Disaster Management Program Division (PDMPD) of Negros Occidental has asked for additional early warning and rescue equipment in response to the recent flooding in northern Negros which already claimed the lives of three people and affected an estimated 76,000 individuals.
PDMPD head, Dr. Zeaphard Caelian, said their rain and river gauges were filled during the heavy rains last week.
Caelian said the province’s solar-powered rain gauge which was given to them by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) also did not work due to lack of sunlight.
He said he has already ordered repairs to their weather monitoring equipment which would help them with their early warning response.
The PDMPD has also requested additional early warning systems from the DOST and a backup system for their existing solar-powered monitoring equipment in order for them to operate even if there is no sunlight.
Caelian also stated they have asked for additional rescue equipment from the Regional Disaster Risk Management Committee in order to help local government units in Negros Occidental to deal with rescue operations.
He also admitted that during the floods last week, they had a hard time responding to the affected residents due to a lack of equipment.
Meanwhile, due to continuing rains experienced in the province brought by the tail end of a cold front, Caelian urged the Negrenses to immediately evacuate and not wait for the floodwaters to rise up.
Last week, thousands of people in northern Negros fled their homes after non-stop rains caused flash floods in the province’s third and second districts./DGB, WDJ