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Albay Gov. Bichara leads 1st Quarter PDRRMC Meeting as stakeholders discuss TD Usman aftermath

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Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara has spearheaded today the first quarter meeting of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The PDRRMC has discussed the aftermath of the tropical depression Usaman, which caused the province to be declared under the state of calamity.

Present during the meeting at the APSEMO Building in Legazpi were the heads of various departments from the Provincial Government of Albay, mayors from affected cities and municipalities, and representatives of key agencies.

They discussed the ongoing issues and operations currently being conducted.

Governor Bichara said that this is not the time to start pointing fingers and find whose fault it was but instead just consolidate all their efforts to help the affected families and barangays.

“There is no need to put any blame on which agency made an error, what we need to do now is to prevent the same thing from happening again and to put all our best efforts forward to bring back normalcy to the lives of the families that have suffered from the devastating effects of Tropical Depression Usman,” he was quoted as saying.

Several key issues were also discussed such as health, sanitation, infrastructure, retrieval and clearing operations, as well as relief operations were tackled and discussed.

“What emerged as the most critical issue is the relocation of residents near the landslide area as the DENR-MGB advised that deep-seated rock fissures may cause more landslides if severe rainfall happen again,” said the provincial government

The governor also proposed the permanent relocation of residents in affected areas, such as in Tiwi, to prevent any future casualties resulting to landslides.

The provincial government said that as of January 3, there are 20 casualties reported, 15 in Tiwi and 3 in Legazpi killed by landslides, and 1 in Oas and 1 in Libon due to drowning.

Eighteen people were also reported to be injured in Tiwi and 6 others are still missing in the same town.