MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will send a probing and retrieval team to Kathmandu to provide assistance to the victims of the earthquake that struck Nepal last Saturday.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the team is composed of well-trained rescuers who were deployed to help in the rescue and retrieval operations in Bohol and La Libertad, Negros Oriental which were also hit by earthquakes in 2013.
“This contingent will likewise conduct post-earthquake studies to aid Metro Manila in case an earthquake of similar magnitude occurs,” Tolentino said.
He added that with the team’s experience to begin with, they are expected to show more preparedness in terms of fine-tuning Oplan Metro Yakal, MMDA’s contingent plan which lays down operational procedures in the event that a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hits the metropolis.
“We are optimistic that our personnel can provide the needed expertise and assistance that Nepal badly needs. They are helping in behalf of the entire government of the Republic of the Philippines,” the MMDA chief added.
Tolentino pointed out that the MMDA’s effort is not just a mere humanitarian act for the victims, but also to reciprocate what the international community did for the Philippines after the devastating typhoon Yolanda hit the country in 2013.
“This is our way of showing our gratitude to the global community for helping us Filipinos in the aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda, particularly in Leyte and Eastern Samar. We need to show solidarity with the international community. After all, we are a one world family. We need to act in unison during times of disasters,” he said.
The team will stay in Kathmandu for an unspecified number of days.
More than 4,800 people are confirmed dead, 180 buildings destroyed, and more than 500 structures damaged from the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that rocked Nepal on Saturday.