Davao tells barangays near rivers to prepare more evacuation centers

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 10 July) — The city government has directed barangays along the rivers to brace for the rainy season by preparing additional evacuation centers to ensure physical distancing in case residents need to evacuate during floods and other disasters.

Residents of several subdivisions in Bangkal, Davao City seek refuge at the covered court of the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Central Park Subdivision, Bangkal due to the flash flood Thursday night, 28 August 2019. The residents returned home when the waters subsided. MindaNews photo by GREGORIO BUENO

Lydon Leovic Ancajas, administrative and training chief of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) said during Friday’s Connect Media Forum at SM Lanang Premier that barangay officials were told to utilize existing government structures as evacuation centers.

He said this will prevent congestion and minimize the risk of Covid-19 transmission among evacuees.

“Aside from that, they also have alternate areas because they should not be clustered together in our usual evacuation center which is the covered courts since we have minimum physical distancing requirements. We have to find for another,” he added.

The official said majority of the barangays along Davao River, Lipadas River, Lasang River, Matina Pangi River, and Talomo River have already submitted to CDRRMO their designated isolation facilities.

Barangays identified as areas prone to flooding, fire and landslide have established evacuation centers for suspected COVID-19 cases, he said.

“There are barangays which would use their multi-purpose hall. They did not create another building but rather use existing buildings that would be designated as a possible evacuation or isolation facility,” he said.

He said the agency would coordinate with City Social Services and Development Office and City Health Office to provide assistance and screen the evacuees.

On July 9, Department of Health-Davao recorded 41 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 689 cases with 33 deaths and 426 recoveries.

Of the total, 516 were in Davao City, 62 in Davao del Norte, 27 in Davao del Sur, 36 in Davao de Oro, 44 in Davao Oriental and four in Davao Occidental. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)