Disaster agency chief says local officials were cautioned about ‘Seniang’

By , on January 4, 2015

Shutterstock photo
Shutterstock photo

MANILA –National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) executive director Alexander Pama said that local officials were warned about tropical storm Seniang and the damage it could inflict, even as he expressed his surprise over claims made by some authorities in Eastern Visayas that they had not been forewarned about such.

Pama said that information about the potential onslaught of Seniang was cascaded through regional and provincial disaster officials down to local government units, with the assistance of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG.)

“That comes as a surprise to me if that’s the claim. But I haven’t talked to her (Uy-Tan) so I’d like to get confirmation on that if indeed they have not received warnings,” Pama said.

“If indeed they are correct, we might have to look and maybe rectify the things that need to be rectified,” Pama added.

The risk agency’s director was referring to claims made by Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan of Catbalogan, Eastern Samar, who said that had they been issued advanced warning, they could have better prepared for the storm.

Over 20 people perished in Eastern Samar, in landslides triggered by Seniang.
Misamis Oriental Governor Bambi Emano echoed Uy-Tan’s sentiments, saying that casualties in their area could have been less if the national government had been better prepared to deal with the storm which pummeled the Visayas and Mindanao regions some days ago.

Pama said that he will be calling on the local officials concerned in order to discuss the matter.

By the latest official count of the NDRRMC, 55 people were killed, 40 were injured, while 8 remain missing in Seniang’s aftermath.