MANILA — Government preparations for Typhoon “Glenda” have paid off, with casualties kept to a minimum, said Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. on Thursday.
“We will notice that this is the first major storm after Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ and there was sufficient preparation orchestrated by the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC),” Coloma told reporters during a press briefing.
He also commended the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (DOST-PAGASA) and Project NOAH (Nationwide Operation Assessment of Hazards) for “the very accurate forecasts,” which were disseminated through the social media on a real-time basis.
The Palace official noted that preparations actually began in January when the President met his Cabinet for a post-“Yolanda” assessment, during which he instructed his Cabinet Secretaries to prepare for the onset of the rainy season.
“Indeed the different departments buckled down to brass tacks and proceeded to make their preparations in their respective spheres,” he said, adding that the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) conducted seminars and workshops at the local government level, as well as drills for flood evacuation.
“Kaya’t makikita natin na sa aspeto ng kahandaan, marami na ring mga pagbabago at pagpapahusay ng mga sistema na naisagawa simula noong Typhoon Yolanda, at nakita nga rito ‘yung mas mataas na antas na kahandaan ng mga pamahalaang lokal sa pakikipag-ugnayan sa kanilang mga komunidad… Marami-rami na rin namang mga aral na natutunan na nagamit at napahusay sa paghahanda para sa Typhoon Glenda,” he said.
Coloma also cited the efforts made by Albay Governor Joey Salceda, who ordered the evacuation of 150,000 residents from danger zones 24 hours before the expected landfall in Bicol.
“Yung mga bilang ng casualties ay napanatili sa mababang numero, at marami ring mga nag-report na sa maraming munisipalidad ay naka-attain talaga sila ng zero casualties,” he said, taking note that the typhoon struck the most populous areas of the country.
Data issued by the NDRRMC put the casualties at 38 dead, 10 injured and eight missing.
“We continue to learn from the experience and prepare even harder and better for the next storm,” Coloma said.