MANILA – The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has readied all of its disaster response task units (DRTUs) and assets for possible humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) missions amid bad weather caused by a low pressure area (formerly Tropical Depression Maymay) affecting parts of Northern and Central Luzon.
"PAF units, especially those situated in Northern and Central Luzon have placed all DRTU personnel, equipment, and air assets on alert status for probable HADR," PAF spokesperson Col. Ma. Consuelo Castillo said in a statement Wednesday night.
She added that PAF's disaster response teams are equipped with hard hats, life vests, chainsaws, axes, crowbars, hammers, rubber boats, utility ropes, flashlights, radios, stretchers, ladders, shovels, generators, lifesavers, and medical equipment, thus making them capable of search, relief, rescue and recovery operations as well enabling them to provide medical aid.
"Meanwhile, the PAF's airlift, and search-and-rescue air assets are also on standby alert for possible rapid damage assessment and needs analysis (RDANA), search-and-rescue (SAR), relief operations, and other related missions in anticipation of the aftermath of Maymay and another looming tropical depression that is about to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility," Castillo said.
She said the Air Force is one with the country in praying for and in ensuring the safety of all those who will be affected.
Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday announced that the Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom), under Lt. Gen. Ernesto Torres Jr., has alerted all units in Northern Luzon for possible deployment in areas expected to be affected by bad weather.
These include the disaster response units of all battalions and brigades under Nolcom's joint operational area that will be affected by the disaster, AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar said.
He also added that air and naval assets under the operational control of the Nolcom are also on standby and may be used for aerial assessment, transport, and evacuation operations.
"To help minimize casualties, we once again call on the public to cooperate with government authorities in the implementation of precautionary measures including possible pre-emptive evacuation," Aguilar said.
Maymay affects 1.8K families: NDRRMC
Maymay has so far affected 1,857 families in three regions in the country.
In its Thursday update, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said these families are residing in 34 barangays located in Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, and the Cordillera Administrative Region.
The NDRRMC said these families are equivalent to 7,069 persons.
Of these, only 31 families or 86 individuals are being sheltered in six evacuation centers.
The NDRRMC has yet to release any casualties or damages that might be attributed to Maymay as of this time. (PNA)