Vice President Leni Robredo said on Saturday residents were caught off-guard by the sudden deluge triggered by Typhoon Ulysses because they “weren’t warned enough” on the disastrous effects of the typhoon.
Robredo noted many of the typhoon victims she spoke to during her recent visits to evacuation centers in Marikina City and Rizal complained of the lack of information on what could possibly happen with the coming typhoon Ulysses.
She first visited families evacuated at Kasiglahan Village Elementary School in Rodriguez, Rizal last Thursday to provide relief goods following “Ulysses’” onslaught. She also went to Barangay Tumana, Marikina City.
“Ang dami nila nare-receive na warnings from NDRMMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council), ‘yung mga tinetext. Pero ‘yung karamihan daw na nababasa nila storm surge sa Pasay, Manila Paranaque, Navotas (They received a lot of warnings from the NDRMMC through text messages. But most of the messages they read were about the storm surge in Pasay, Manila, Paranaque, Navotas),” she said in a Teleradyo interview.
“Walang sinasabing amount of rainfall na darating sa kanila. Wala silang napapanood na source of information na ganun ang mangyayari (There was no mention of the amount of rainfall that would possibly come their way. They did not see a source of information warning that would happen),” Robredo added.
The vice president also cited the same experience of displaced residents in Barangay Nangka, also in Marikina City.
“Parati naman daw silang binabaha pero ngayon daw sobra bilis, kulang sa impormasyon na ganoon kagrabe (They said they always experience flooding, but it was very fast; they lacked information that it would be that severe),” she related the comments the people at the evacuation center told her.
Robredo scored the NDRMMC for its lack of sense of urgency in responding to Cagayan residents who were stranded in their homes due to massive floods brought by Ulysses.
The lady official said she did not see immediate reports from the NDRMMC on Friday night regarding the situation in Cagayan Valley.
“Dapat sana ‘yung first calls for help pa lang mayroong mukha saka boses nagsasabing ‘narinig namin kayo, ganito ‘yung ginagawa namin, papunta na diyan.’ Wala iyon kagabi,” she pointed out.
“Walang anong idea kung nagkaroon ba ng tamang pre-disaster assessment. Dapat na-ge-gauge na natin kung ano ang danger,” she said.
Robredo underscored the importance of effective communication during calamities.