99 disasters struck RP in January-June, affecting 3.5-M persons, says CDRC

August 13, 2010 11:39 am 

MANILA, Aug. 12 —- A total 99 natural and man-made disasters struck the Philippine in the first half-year, affecting 579,540 families or 3,405,707 persons, according to the non-governmental Citizens’ Disaster Response Center (CDRC).

The six months from January to June were also the same period when the calamity fund for 2010 were reportedly depleted to as much as 70 per cent over-all by the previous administration, leaving little for the present government, as claimed by Malacanang.

The figures are lower compared to the same period last year, but CDRC executive director Louella Escandor said this should not make communities complacent. “We are still expecting more typhoons, more floods and more landslides in the coming months.”

She stressed that communities should take steps to enhance their capacities and reduce their vulnerabilities, and that disaster preparedness and cooperation of the whole community is important in reducing the impact of disasters.

Of the number, 20 were weather-related such as drought and floods, the top inflictors of damages in terms of persons affected, said Escandor.

The remaining 79 are caused by human, mostly related to fire and accounted for 41 deaths, she added.

CDRC claims to maintain its own database on disasters and pioneered and continues to promote community-based disaster management in the country, operating nationwide through a network of regional centers and people’s organizations.

CDRC had urged President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino to spend newly-replenished calamity funds not only on relief but also on disaster preparedness projects.

CDRC was referring to Aquino’s earlier approval of the infusion of an additional P1.75 billion to the nearly depleted calamity fund for 2010.

Carlos Padolina, CDRC spokesperson, said that even if the P1.75 billion will not completely replenish the original amount of P2 billion for this year's calamity fund, it will definitely help augment the remaining P592 million fund left by the previous administration.

Padolina said Aquino should also give priority to areas frequently affected by typhoons and other disasters. He noted that areas that regularly suffer from floods are also often hit by typhoons. Pampanga is one such area. (PNA)

V3/GJB

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