Green group calls for strengthened flood response

AS Typhoon Gener left wide swathes of flooded communities nationwide, Kalikasan Partylist called for clear guidelines for the public in response to flood warnings and bulletins issued by the PAGASA.

“The Philippines is visited annually by around 19 tropical cyclones, mostly around June to October. These typhoons not only bring in the rains and wind but usually cause flooding in large areas in the country,” said Frances Quimpo, Secretary General of the Kalikasan Green Party of the Philippines (Kalikasan Partylist).

“We should have a system for flooding similar to the typhoon warning signals that cause automatic suspension of classes and work. While flood warnings from Pagasa are being issued by the agency, it remains vague to communities and residents what these water levels really imply”, Quimpo added.

The environmental group reiterated its call for a nationwide flood drill to avoid the loss of lives and property. “What we need is a nationwide flood drill so that we avoid what happened during Ondoy and Pepeng. Flood preparations are essential in a country like ours”, said Quimpo.

“The release of water in dams should also be carefully done. Preparation of communities along the river downstream from the dam should be ready when dam managers release excess water from heavy rains”, Quimpo added.

“The Philippines is within the most active area where tropical cyclones are born and most active. It is also the place where some of the most globally intense storms on record occurred. Since at least 30 percent of the rainfall in northern Phillippines could be traced from typhoons, we should always be ready for flooding when they arrive,” Quimpo said.

Kalikasan Partylist earlier urged the public to remember three major  steps to prepare for the coming rains. First, be aware of the risks and hazards in your local area. Second, inform your communities of these risks. These can take the form of discussions or a public map of the vulnerable areas in your vicinity.

The group called on the public to take to action to reduce flood risk that will involve your local barangays, businesses, homeowners and most especially the youth such as proper waste management and disposal.

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