By: LIEUTENANT COLONEL EDGARD A AREVALO PN(M)
Director, Naval Public Affairs Office
Monday, 05 October 2009
Two Disaster Response and Rescue Teams (DRRT) saved 55 individuals tthat included 2 families from Ilocos Norte as “Pepeng” battered the province.
The teams from NAVFORNOL Command based in Poro Point, La Union composed of two officers and 31 enlisted personnel were pre-deployed to conduct search and rescue operations where they are needed. Team 1 led by Ens Alejandro Janayan rescued 48 individuals in Pagudpud town yesterday, 04 October 2009. The team also assisted the town mayor in distributing 600 packs of relief goods to the residents and conducted clearing operations. Janayan’s team also successfully evacuated to safer grounds 20 persons who were stranded along the national road in barangays Balaoi, Pancian, and Pasaleng, Pagudpud town and treated a civilian who sustained wounds. Minor landslides have been reported but the roads remained passable.
Vice Admiral Ferdinand S Golez has reminded Commo Jose Luis Alano, NAVFORNOL Commander to issue a directive to all rescue teams to take extra preacautions after a landslide was reported in Brgy Tarrag, yesterday afternoon, 04 October, that almost hit Janayan’s team conducting clearing operations near the area. Heavy rains and strong winds forced Janayan’s team to suspend its operations.
Meanwhile, Team 2 headed by Ens Dominador Merida rescued two familes of seven that included a 7-month old baby in Brgy Nalasin, Paoay town. Last night, the team received instructions to proceed to Bacarra town to rescue 24 familes trapped in floodwaters.
It can be recalled that Naval units in Metro Manila, Cavite, Northern Luzon, and Southern Luzon areas have prepositioned their respective DRRTs as early as Friday in anticipation of typhoon “Pepeng.” Rescue operations by DRRT in Northern Luzon areas aided by naval reservists are in full swing as “Pepeng” battered Northern Luzon provinces. Other DRR teams are on standby to respond to distress calls by citizens and assist LGUs in their rescue and relief efforts to the locals.
The Navy’s DRR teams which are integrated into naval commands all over the country are always put on alert status during the typhoon season. According to Vice Admiral Ferdinand S Golez AFP, the alert status keeps the Navy DRRO teams ready for dispatch to respond to any emergency situation at any given time, or upon signal from the national government, or any LGU.