Are we prepared to survive when disaster strikes us? This is one of the many questions that challenged participants to the 2-day disaster preparedness workshop conducted March 2-3 by the Jesuit-run Manila Observatory at San Pablo Parish, Juna Subdivision, Matina, Davao City.
Emergency responders and disaster preparedness personnel from the parishes of San Lorenzo in Talomo District, Our Lady of Lourdes in Bangkal, Our Lady of the Assumption in Barangay 19-B, Ascension of the Lord Parish in Matina, GSIS Heights, San Pedro Cathedral Parish, Saint Jude Thaddeus Parish in Malvar, Saint Francis of Assisi Parish in Ma-a, St. Mary of Perpetual Rosary Parish in Buhangin and from San Pablo Parish, Juna Subdivision all belonging to the highly-populated areas of the Archdiocese, participated actively in the training workshop.
Participants gained insights on the Analysis of Data from the Automated Weather Stations (AWS) strategically installed in disaster-prone areas of Davao City particularly coastal villages. A joint project between Smart, Shell, Ateneo de Davao University and Manila Observatory, AWS has the ability to monitor rainfall, wind pressure, solar radiation (heat), temperature and humidity which are contributory factors to heavy rains, flooding and landslides.
Celine Vicente, scientist and team leader from the group of Manila Observatory gave a talk on Pre-Risk Integration Hazards, Exposures and Vulnerability of people during disasters. Participants were also oriented on how to use Google Earth in Geo-tagging and hazard mapping.
The role of Faith-based Institutions in Disaster Risk Reduction Management- Climate Change Adaptation (DRRM-CCA) was also given emphasis in a sharing experience of Milet B. Mendoza- a development worker.
Wilfredo Nonoy Rodriguez, an environmentalist and church worker shared expertise on how to use visuals and illustrations in the conduct of trainings in different Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) and GKKs of the Archdiocese.
In his message to the participants, Archbishop Romulo Valles, D.D. stressed that the looming disaster ahead caused by environmental abuse can be mitigated with BECs at the forefront of preparedness and education to care for the environment. “This is the only Earth given to us by God, let’s take care of it” as he ended quoting from Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si.
The 2-day seminar workshop was spearheaded by the Manila Observatory in partnership with the Archdiocese of Davao and OML Center-Science for Climate Resilient Communities. (Dante Escabarte)