UN praises PH gov’t for preparedness amid ‘Lando’ devastation
The United Nations (UN) has lauded the efforts of the Philippine government in saving lives and minimizing damage as Typhoon Lando (international name Koppu) struck Luzon over the past few days.
UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) head Margareta Wahlström cited regular briefings from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), which she said helped “guide the actions” of local government units and volunteer groups.
“The Philippines is the most storm-exposed country in the world and its expertise in disaster risk management can be usefully adopted by other countries trying to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction adopted in March this year as a global blueprint for reducing disaster losses,” Wahlström said.
The UN official said there have been improvements in the Philippine government’s preparedness plan since the country was devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) in November 2013. She said this was seen last December when large-scale evacuations averted “major loss of life” as Typhoon Ruby (international name Hagupit) struck the Philippines.
“Now again this weekend, government agencies have been successful in reducing loss of life through the effective communication of early warnings and organizing targeted evacuations in the areas most affected by Typhoon Koppu,” Wahlström said in a statement.
The NDRRMC reported on Tuesday that 12 people were killed due to the effects of Typhoon Lando.
“President Benigno Aquino’s broadcast to the nation on Friday evening was especially important in alerting the population to the threat,” Wahlström added.
Aquino, on Friday, gave a televised national address to assure the public that affected residents will be protected and that aid will be made available.
Among the efforts praised by the UN Children’s Fund (Unicef) were pre-emptive evacuation and “widespread public information.”
The agency said children are the most vulnerable during times of calamity.
“Following a typhoon, children face risks from contaminated water sources, lack of food, epidemics such as cholera, hypothermia, diarrhea and pneumonia,” Unicef Philippines Representative Lotta Sylwander said.
Unicef is calling for $2.8 million in donations to augment its supplies.
UN, citing the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), emphasized that the severe El Niño being experienced by the region brings about an increased risk of typhoon for the rest of the year.
WMO said in its earlier statement that tropical cyclone numbers “are expected to be elevated for a majority of the Pacific Island countries close to or east of the International Date Line, and their tracks may be less predictable.” CDG
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