EDITORIAL| Preparing for disasters

AS THE Philippines is among the countries sitting in the Pacific Ring of Fire we are vulnerable to environmental disasters. This, compounded with human and developmental factors, make us more prone to disasters therefore, its management  and risk mitigation to lives, properties and the environment should always be the top priority.

By its location in the tropics, the Philippines is found to be naturally prone to environmental disasters. This situation plus other human and developmental factors contribute to communities’ inability to cope with such disasters.

Understanding our geophysical and ecological vulnerabilities help in crafting a more reliable disaster risk management plan. The forest fire in Mt. Apo tested the capabilities and preparedness  of the local government s’ disaster risk reduction management on this incident.

Apart from the natural or manmade disasters, the city experienced one of the worst chemical/ hazardous materials disaster last March 28.

Liquid chlorine leaked from a cylinder found inside the building of Jedaric Chemical Corporation,  a storage facility but also used to repack chemicals in Lasang, north of Davao City.

The incident affected 35 people who were immediately brought to the hospitals for treatment. SPMC chief of clinics Dr. Ricardo Audan said chlorine inhalation should not be treated lightly and that there is no antidote for those who are affected. Patients are therefore treated by the symptoms that they show which are, among others, eye burns, skin irritations, and respiratory distress.

In one of the interviews Mindanao Times had with Central 911 chief Emmanuel Jaldon, he said that it is no longer enough to train people on natural or man-made disasters but also look at other forms of accidents such as disasters relating to hazardous chemicals and materials. He said the city is prepared, not only by acquiring proper equipment and protective gears but also the training of responders.

Disasters can be mitigated. Awareness on its prevention and what to do when disaster strikes should be taught in schools, home or at work. This is the new normal.

Posted in Opinion