Evacuees from coastal areas back to home after lifting of tsunami alert

Map of Surigao del Norte showing the location ...Image via WikipediaA March 12, 2011 press release by the Department of Social Welfare and Development

Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said today that families who evacuated yesterday as a result of tsunami warnings made after the 8.9 earthquake in Japan are now returning to their respective barangays following the cancellation of tsunami alerts by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

However, Secretary Soliman, emphasized that despite the lifting of the tsunami alert, the concerned DSWD Field Offices are still on 24-hour monitoring, giving importance to the coastal areas, which are most vulnerable to environmental threats such as tsunamis.

In Bangui, Ilocos Norte, the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer reported that the 759 family-evacuees went home this morning. Some 2,166 families composed of 10,830 persons coming from the 35 barangays had a pre-emptive evacuation in the province. Likewise, the family-evacuees from Gonzaga, Sta. Ana, Claveria, Ballesteros, Sta. Teresita in Cagayan province, as well as from Dingalan and Baler in Aurora province went back to their respective homes.

Meanwhile, in Surigao del Norte, some 412 families with 1,810 persons from six coastal barangays sought temporary refuge at the Gymnasiums of San Isidro and Pilar, Surigao del Norte.

The DSWD’s Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC) is closely coordinating with concerned DSWD Field Offices on the status of evacuees in other areas where the pre-emptive evacuation was undertaken.

At the height of the pre-emptive evacuation, Secretary Soliman said that the DSWD prepositioned P61.07 million worth of standby funds and food, and non-food items in concerned DSWD-FOs readily available for augmentation support.