MANILA — The Catbalogan-based 8th Infantry Division, one of the sizable military contingents along the projected path of typhoon “Ruby,” has placed all its units on “full red alert” for possible humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions in areas threatened by the cyclone.
Major Gen. Jet B. Velarmino, 8th Infantry Division commander, said they are maintaining constant coordination with the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD).
Further, tactical units in the field are also closely working with the local government units’ disaster management councils in implementing plans that will mitigate the possible effects of the super typhoon within their respective localities.
Contingency planning with the different concerned agencies are being undertaken should “Ruby” trigger flash floods and landslides in their areas of operation, Velarmino said.
“The primary objective here is ‘zero-casualty.’ Along with other agencies, your Army here in the region will exhaust all means to save lives and properties, particularly in the areas that will be worst-hit by the typhoon,” he added.
The 8th Infantry Division troopers were among the “first responders” during the onslaught of last year’s super typhoon “Yolanda.”
All units under the 8th Infantry Division were placed on red alert effective Thursday morning.
Continuous communication with the local disaster councils are being conducted by different agencies down to the city/municipal level for the prioritization of evacuation of residents in low-lying areas.
On the other hand, as early as Wednesday, the 8th Infantry Division already deployed rescue personnel, mobility assets, communication equipment and field ambulances in Tacloban City, Leyte, and in Borongan and Guiuan, all of Eastern Samar, among the worst-hit areas by “Yolanda” on Nov. 8, 2013.