Residents of Barangay Mabaus, Carmen, Davao del Norte were awakened by the flood warning sirens in the early morning of Sunday, January 29, 2023, due to a flood simulation drill exercise carried out by the Department of Science and Technology XI (DOST XI), Office of the Civil Defense XI with the Municipality of Carmen Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office. 

During the simulation exercise, residents participated in the evacuation drill to test their ability to respond to any potential flooding in the area and for the responders to properly assess coordination challenges during the evacuation process.

The flood drill also assessed the facilities of the newly launched Regional Permanent Evacuation Center of Carmen equipped with modular tents, comfort rooms, health center, animal rescue area, breastfeeding room, prayer room, and playroom for children.

DOST XI Assistant Regional Director Ms. Mirasol Domingo highlighted the importance of the activity for the community because disaster preparations require clear plans and it is more effective if taken with a top-to-bottom approach.

“We cannot prevent flooding from happening, but the way we approach it can ease its catastrophic impacts to the community and it will definitely save lives if the community knows how to respond to these calamities,” she added. 

After the flood simulation drill, the disaster managers, responders, evacuation center officers, and community members gathered for a debriefing and post-evaluation of the conducted drill. 

Nicanor Sombilon Bajeyo, the Barangay Chairman of Mabaus, extended gratitude to the participating government agencies for conducting the drill and for reinforcing the importance of community participation in responding to natural disasters. 

“Nakita namo kung unsa pa na mga pamaagi na mas mapaayo ang atong pagresponde sa baha diri sa atoang lugar mao na dako kaayo ang amoang pasalamat (Through this activity, we have seen ways to improve our response in floodings here that is why we are really grateful),” he added. 

The flood simulation drill is part of the Scaling Up Community Resilience Building to Disasters in the Davao Region of DOST targeted to enhance the capabilities of Local Government Units and communities in the Davao Region to reduce risks and impact of natural hazards.

DOST XI S&T Information and Promotion