AFP deploys disaster response units to 'Ulysses'-hit areas

By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan and Priam Nepomuceno

November 12, 2020, 1:30 pm

<p><em>(PNA photo by Joey Razon)</em></p>

(PNA photo by Joey Razon)

MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has dispatched all of its disaster response units to areas affected by Typhoon Ulysses to help local government units (LGUs) in aiding people severely affected by the weather disturbance.
"The AFP, through the Joint Task Force - National Capital Region (JTF-NCR), has deployed disaster response units in and around Metro Manila to assist local governments in rescuing and delivering aid to residents affected by Typhoon Ulysses," AFP Chief of Staff, Gen. Gilbert Gapay, said in a statement Thursday.
Gapay said the AFP is also monitoring the situation along the Marikina River that is experiencing heavy flooding due to intense rains brought by the typhoon.
"Evacuation is ongoing, with the Naval Task Group of the JTF-NCR joining city disaster risk and reduction units with their rubber boats, trucks, and personnel," he said.
Also on hand were two disaster response units composed of three teams from the 7th Civil Relations Group, 101st Search and Rescue volunteers, and REACT PH volunteers who were deployed to Marikina City at 6:30 a.m. 
An amphibious team was on its way to Marikina City while a search-and-rescue unit, composed of two teams from Bantay Bayan and 1301st volunteers, was deployed to areas along the Tullahan River and Caloocan.
"We continue to maintain strong coordination with NCR local government units, the MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority), and other national government agencies in closely monitoring the situation in critical areas," Gapay said.
In affected areas of the Bicol and Southern Tagalog regions, a total of 126 disaster response units with more than 1,000 trained and equipped personnel, 150 mobility assets, seven rubber boats, and six air assets were dedicated to humanitarian and disaster response operations.
In Rizal, particularly in the municipalities of San Mateo and Rodriguez, Gapay said two water search-and-rescue (WASAR) teams from the 525th Engineering and Construction Brigade were assisting the LGUs in rescuing residents affected by heavy flooding.
They will be augmented by two teams from Cavite, he said, noting that search-and-rescue helicopters were also on standby for deployment to Marikina and Rizal as soon as the weather permits.
"Meanwhile, the Northern Luzon Command is conducting clearing operations in Ilocos Norte, particularly in Pagudpud, due to multiple landslide incidents. No casualties were reported in these incidents," Gapay said.
He appealed to residents in these areas to heed calls for preemptive evacuation and cooperate with government units for their safety.
"Let us all work together to minimize the effects of Typhoon Ulysses and prevent any loss of life in this critical period," Gapay said. (PNA)