BALANGA CITY The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (PAGASA) on Wednesday launched in Bataan the Typhoon and Flood Awareness Week and supervised a flood drill in a flood-prone area here.
Venus Valdemoro, PAGASA information officer, said Pres. Benigno Aquino III issued a proclamation designating the third week of June as Typhoon and Flood Awareness Week for which Pagasa is the lead agency.
“Pagasa is the lead agency to supervise activities and we are here in Balanga for the flood drill conducted by the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council,” she said.
Valdemoro said the activity in Balanga is the first drill supervised by Pagasa since the President issued the proclamation.
“Maganda ang drill na ganito para alam namin ang gagawin, alam kung saan tatakbo pagdating ng saklolo,” said Neneng del Mundo, one of the participants in the drill.
She said she carried with her a pillow, medicine kit, alcohol, flashlight, candle, cotton, cash money, water, water container.”Pati marriage contract dala ko para hindi makatakbo asawa ko,” the woman said in jest.
The drill participants are from Sitio Pio del Mar in Barangay Cupang Proper in Balanga City. The sitio is adjacent to a big river. “Lampas tao na umaabot ng 18 feet,” del Mundo said as to the depth of the flood waters in their area.
A village watchman banged the improvised bell repeatedly to advise residents to evacuate the area upon receiving instruction from Cupang Proper barangay captain Norman Guila who was at his command post in the barangay hall.
Guila said 67 families of more than 100 residing along the river bank in Pio del Mar participated in the exercise.
Old men, children and women composed the “evacuees” who were guided by city marshalls, barangay tanod and kagawad, police and CDDRMC officials to waiting vehicles on designated three “pick up points”.
The “evacuees” were brought to the evacuation center at the Cupang Elementary School where they were given food and checked for high blood pressure and other ailments.
Balanga’s CDRRMC chief Engr. Dennis Mariano and Johnrey Amado with Guila and PAGASA people managed the activity.