THE Office of Civil Defense (OCD), as the executive arm of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), is making arrangements for the possible deployment of the Philippine Inter-Agency Humanitarian Contingent (PIAHC) to quake-hit Morocco.
Civil Defense Administrator Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno said on Saturday that the team will comprise personnel from the OCD, 525th Engineering Combat Battalion-Philippine Army, 505th Search and Rescue Group-Philippine Air Force, Bureau of Fire Protection-Special Rescue Unit, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Davao Rescue 911, and Department of Health.
On September 8, a Magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains, leaving thousands of deaths and injured individuals. Search, rescue and retrieval operations are still ongoing in the affected areas, and the death toll is expected to rise.
“We want to assure Morocco that the Philippines is more than willing to extend assistance to support the ongoing response operations. We are organizing a humanitarian contingent for possible deployment,” said Nepomuceno.
Last February, the Philippines sent an 82-man PIAHC to Turkiye to assist in the response operations of the quake-ravaged country. The magnitude 7.8 earthquake that hit Turkiye and Syria left 50,288 dead and 125,857 injured.
The said contingent assisted in medical and search, rescue, and retrieval operations.
— Franco Jose C. Baroña
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