Legarda on Glenda Onslaught: We Were Prepared, But We Can Still Do Better

July 17, 2014

Senator Loren Legarda today noted better disaster preparedness efforts during the onslaught of Typhoon Glenda, but said that the country can still do better, especially when faced with stronger typhoons and other natural hazards.


Among the main concerns in the aftermath of Typhoon Glenda is the power outage across Luzon due to damaged poles and transmission lines.


Meanwhile, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has confirmed at least 38 deaths due to Typhoon Glenda. Most of the victims were hit by collapsed walls, falling debris and fallen trees that were uprooted due to strong winds, while others died of electrocution and drowning.


“The level of disaster preparedness has evidently improved, from forecasting, early warning to evacuation of families in high-risk areas. Weather bulletins were given out regularly and warnings of storm surges were sent out early. The local government units heeded these advisories and did the right thing of enforcing evacuation of families living in coastal communities,” said Legarda, United Nations Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific.


“However, we should not content ourselves with the outcome and we must strive to target zero casualty as we increasingly gain the resources and political will needed to address the constant risks of disasters,” she stressed.


“Let us find a way to prevent damages to critical infrastructure such as transmission lines because electricity and communication lines are more important in the aftermath of disasters. Meanwhile, community preparations for disasters should include regular pruning of trees, dredging of canals and esteros, and the practice of segregating garbage,” she added.


The Senator also called on communities to heed disaster warnings to avoid accidents.


“When warned of an impending hazard, we should take safety measures. Stay indoors and do not attempt to go out especially at the height of the typhoon to avoid accidents. We should also ensure the structural integrity of buildings and firewalls so that these structures would not collapse and cause death or injuries,” she said.


“National and local action must promote disaster prevention with ‘zero tolerance’ as a mindset and approach. On the other hand, citizens must do their part by paying attention to government warnings and community advisories, especially when there is a need to evacuate,” Legarda concluded.