PGMA mobilizes all govít agencies as typhoon Frank strikes RP hard
PGMA mobilizes all govít agencies as typhoon Frank strikes RP hard

OPS 21 JUNE 2008

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo mobilizes today all government line agencies to offer a helping hand to the people affected by land slides and flashfloods as typhoon Frank (international codename: Fengshen) strikes the country.

The President issued her directive as she presided over the emergency meeting of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) this afternoon at the conference room of the Department of National Defense in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said the meeting was attended by the leaders of all concerned agencies such as the Department of Public works and Highways, Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Interior and Local Government, and other line agencies involved in the quick response operations during calamities and emergency situations.

Dureza said the President is taking a personal hand and putting in place the needed mechanisms and measures to address the situation.

During the emergency meeting, Dureza divulged that all government agencies were instructed by the President to stockpile relief goods, and place on alert all state-run hospitals.

In a press briefing held at the Kalayaan Lounge at the Villamor Air Base right after the President inspected the stockpiles of relief goods scheduled to be transport to all affected provinces and municipalities, Dureza said the President instructed the DILG to be on standby for the rescue and relief operations.

He added that the President also obliged the DPWH to prepare its men and equipments for the repair of the damaged infrastructure facilities, and clearing operations of the roads submerged by landslides and flashfloods, as soon as the weather improves.

The President also ordered the DA to conduct an immediate assessment on the extent of damage wrought to the agriculture industry by typhoon Frank.

On the part of DSWD, Secretary Esperanza Cabral told the President that the provincial disaster coordinating council and its regional offices are now ready to help the displaced families after their houses were washed away by landslides and flashfloods.

According to report, at least 12 people were confirmed dead and thousands of others were evacuated as typhoon Frank strikes.

Army Spokesman Lt. Col. Julieto Ando said at least five houses were destroyed after the Risao River in the town of Upi in Southern Maguindanao province overflowed.

He reported that 10 people drowned while at least eight others were missing, a landslide buried several houses at a slum area in Cotabato City, killing two people. Four farmers, meanwhile, were reported missing nearby, he added.

Because of the continued heavy rains, roads connecting the southern cities of Cotabato and General Santos were flooded, while a concrete bridge collapsed, isolating some villages and towns.

As of press time, typhoon Frank forced over 200,000 people to seek temporary shelters in the eastern Bicol region, the civil defense office said.

Early on Saturday Frank was tracking a west-northwest direction, packing winds of 140 kilometers (87 miles) an hour.

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