By Emmanuel P. Solis
LEGAZPI CITY, April 28 (PNA) — The city government of Legazpi is working aggressively for the safety of its constituents to maintain zero casualty during calamities, Mayor Noel Rosal said Monday.
Rosal admitted that two-thirds of the city proper, covering 11 villages, are considered below sea level and are in danger during heavy rains.
However, the city administration, he said, has an on-going installation of three pumping stations in Barangays (village) Tibu, Centro Baybay and Victory and rehabilitation of canals and bridges to address the flooding problem in the city.
The city chief executive disclosed that his administration conducts every quarter earthquake drills and other disaster mitigation programs and measures such as training and seminars to give Legazpeños more knowledge on what to do when weather disturbance occurs.
The earthquake drills are being conducted in schools, malls, hotels and hospitals participated by barangay officials, students and employees, among others.
Aside from drills, the City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council conducts training and seminars in the barangays on household preparedness, installation of flood markers, critical incidence stress debriefing, community risk mapping and contingency planning.
Rosal said the Japan International Cooperation Agency has constructed six units of safe emergency evacuation center in Albay that can accommodate 2,000 evacuees and the city administration will also construct more evacuation centers to be used in times of calamities.
Rosal stressed that Disaster Risk Reduction-Climate Change Adaptation is already part of the citys regular local planning and programming.
The local development budget allocates five percent to DRR/CAA-related activities, however, DRR/CAA is considered economic investment and its office is part of the citys Comprehensive Land Use Planning Unit.
Rosal disclosed that the city has entered into a partnership program with Fort Lauderdale City of Florida, USA, for the sharing of knowledge on disaster mitigation measure.
The two cities are both vulnerable to weather hazards and are both geographically situated below sea level, he said.
Representatives from the American city visited Legazpi City last week to assess its accomplishments regarding climate change resiliency. (PNA)