Rescue 161 Keeps Marikenos Safe and Protected Rain or Shine

PIO Department


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With the advent of the typhoon and rainy season, there is one department in the local government of Marikina that is busy day and night watching out for emergencies and ready to respond, even amid strong rains and winds and high waters.

The Marikina City Rescue 161 is on high alert especially during typhoons and its command center at the second floor of the City Health Office along Shoe Ave. is very busy monitoring the rainfall, the level of water at the Marikina River, any changes in the weather and watching out for emergencies that need their quick assistance.

Its Facebook page gives hourly updates on the weather straight from PAGASA, the water level at the river, flooded streets so that motorists can avoid them and important announcements from Mayor Marcy Teodoro such as the suspension of classes.

“Ang command center namin pag ganitong masama ang panahon ay nakaalerto 24/7. May naka-duty talaga rito round the clock kahit walang bagyo. Pero mas alerto kami kapag may bagyo,” says Rameses  Mendoza, operations officer at Rescue 161.

“We monitor the weather updates from PAGASA and post them on our Facebook page. Kumukuha kami ng rainfall data sa MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority)  at ini-interpret ito ng ating engineers upang ma-determine kung gaano kataas ang itataas ng water level sa ilog natin,” adds Rameses.

The water level at the Marikina River is monitored LIVE through cameras set up at the river.

Critical Level

Once the water level at the Marikina River reaches the critical level of 17 meters, the City Hall will enforce a forced evacuation among residents near the river and low-lying areas prone to flooding. Public schools are converted into evacuation centers and every department head at the City Hall manages these evacuation centers.

It is the duty of the department head managing an evacuation center to inform City Hall of how many families are there, what are the things they need and other necessary information. Medical personnel from the City Health Office do the rounds of each evacuation center giving free medical check ups as well as medicines to the evacuees.

The Marikina Sports Center is converted into a big kitchen, where assigned City Hall personnel cook and prepare the food to be distributed to evacuation centers. The local office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development provides the food supply, as well as the blankets and other needs of evacuees.

The police secure the evacuation centers. They also help the teams from Rescue 161 in their rescue operations in flooded areas.

Interagency Action

“Galawang interagency at inter-department dito kapag may bagyo,” says Rameses. “Ang mga department heads ay in-charge doon sa mga schools na ginawang evacuation centers. Iyon ang gusto ni Mayor Marcy para mas maayos at hindi magulo ang pagbibigay ng data tulad ng mga supplies na kailangan.”

Even before the water level at the Marikina River reaches the critical height of 17 meters, teams from Rescue 161 already gather and report to the command center as soon as it reaches 14.5 meters. Each team is composed of 14 personnel. They are on standby in case their assistance is needed by the public.

When the water level at the river reaches 15 meters, the department heads of City Hall, the other agencies such as DSWD and the police are alerted right away so they can get ready for any rescue, relief and emergency situations, as well as to prepare the evacuation centers in case the water levels hits 17 meters.

But even under normal situation, that is when there is no typhoon to monitor, Rescue 161 is on alert 24/7, ready to respond to any situation such as fire, earthquake, road accidents, and medical emergencies. The department has personnel whose sole duty is to monitor the social media – Facebook, Twitter – for anyone needing emergency assistance.

For emergency assistance, call 161 and other numbers posted here, as well as check out its Facebook page :

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