MANILA-- Units of the 4th Infantry Division remain on stand-by for possible humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) missions in flood-stricken areas of the Caraga region despite better weather.
Commander of the 4th Infantry Division, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Madriga, has instructed all his unit commanders to maintain close coordination with the different Disaster Response and Rehabilitation Management Councils (DRRMCs) in their respective areas of responsibility, since the calamity has caused immense damage in many areas and has displaced thousands of people.
Heavy rains have battered Caraga since Monday, causing heavy flooding.
In response, the 401st Infantry Brigade covering the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, and Butuan City deployed close to 400 soldiers to conduct rescue operations in the area.
The troops helped various local government units (LGUs) and other rescuers transport more than 12,000 affected families or 50,836 individuals to different evacuation centers.
Meanwhile, the 402nd Infantry Brigade, whose area of coverage includes the provinces of Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands, dispatched more than 300 soldiers to support the affected localities during and after the calamity.
It also focused on Malimono town in Surigao del Norte, which was cut off after floods made the provincial road inaccessible and damaged the detour bridge in Barangay Tinago.
Moreover, 225 affected families or 1,325 individuals in nearby Mainit town were brought to evacuation centers.
The 403rd Infantry Brigade meanwhile has been augmenting additional troops from the 8th Infantry Battalion and 1st Special Forces Battalion, and rescue teams in Valencia City.
They were able to transport families from 11 barangays near the swollen Pulangi river to evacuation areas.
In other areas of Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, and Cagayan De Oro City, soldiers have already shifted from disaster response to relief and rehabilitation operations.
Troops were dispatched to help the different LGUs in delivering relief goods to the evacuation centers and in conducting clean-up drives in affected schools and communities.
"I would like to once again commend all the key players for their active contribution and participation in helping our people during the hit of the recent calamity. We have once again proven that 'bayanihan' or working together as one will lessen the effect of any catastrophe. The unity that we have showcased is something that every Filipino should be proud of and should emulate," Madrigal said.
"Rest assured that the 4th Infantry Division will always be your active partner in this side of the country. Let us all continue working together through the spirit of 'bayanihan'." (PNA)
Source: Philippines information agency