Standby alert: Erap readies Manila rescue units for deployment to Typhoon Lawin-hit areas


With Manila relatively spared from the wrath of Super Typhoon Lawin, Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada is preparing the city’s well-trained rescue units to help in the rescue and relief efforts in typhoon-hit provinces in northern Luzon.

Estrada said he has alerted the search-and-rescue (SAR) teams of the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) for possible deployment to either Cagayan, Isabela, or Ilocos Norte, or wherever their services are mostly needed.

“We are fortunate that Lawin did no damage to Manila. But we should think of those who bore the brunt of the typhoon’s fury, and they need help,” the Manila mayor said.

Estrada said the city government is presently coordinating with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (NDRRMC) and other government agencies and relief organizations to determine how Manila could help in the relief and rehabilitation efforts if there are any.

MDRRMO head Johnny Yu said they have already advised Estrada that their SAR teams have been on standby alert for immediate deployment anywhere in the country.

“We are ready. We are just waiting for the Mayor’s go-signal. All our equipment and gears have been primed up and packed,” Yu pointed out.

He said MDRRMO has two 15-man rescue units: water search and urban search teams that have been well-trained and equipped to handle SAR operations in most difficult conditions.

The MDRRMO rescuers are also veterans of Typhoon Yolanda rescue and relief mission in Tacloban City back in 2013, Yu added.

“We’ve been to Tacloban, Bicol region, Mindanao, and in many provinces in Luzon, helping in SAR operations and rehabilitation efforts during times of calamities,” Yu said.