Gov’t assembling Morocco responders


The government is reviewing proposals to send a humanitarian team to Morocco to help in the aftermath of the strong earthquake that hit the country last week.

The Office of Civil Defense said Saturday it is making arrangements for the possible deployment of a Philippine inter-agency humanitarian contingent to Morocco.

“We are deeply saddened in the aftermath of the earthquake that hit Morocco. We want to assure Morocco that the Philippines is more than willing to extend assistance in support of the ongoing response operations,” OCD administrator Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno said in a statement.


OCD team on standby

Nepomuceno said the OCD, as the executive arm of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, is prepared to deploy a contingent to help in the ongoing rescue and relief efforts in Morocco that was battered by a magnitude-6.8 earthquake that destroyed communities and has killed nearly 3,000 people.

Authorities said the number may still rise as search, rescue, and retrieval operations continue.

“We want to assure Morocco that the Philippines is more than willing to extend assistance in support of the ongoing response operations. We are organizing a humanitarian contingent for possible deployment,” he added.

Nepomuceno, who is also NDRRMC executive director, said the contingent will consist of personnel from the OCD, the 525th Engineering Combat Battalion of the Philippine Army, the 505th Search and Rescue Group of the Philippine Air Force, Bureau of Fire Protection-Special Rescue Unit, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Davao Rescue 911 and the Department of Health.

Last February, the Philippines sent an 82-man humanitarian contingent to Turkiye to assist in response operations following the quake that hit the country.

The magnitude-7.8 earthquake that hit Turkiye and nearby Syria left 50,288 dead and 125,857 injured. The Philippine contingent helped in medical, search, rescue, and retrieval operations.

Meanwhile, Nepomuceno said the recent earthquakes should serve as a reminder to all to continuously be prepared for  earthquakes, especially the big one.

He called on the public and other stakeholders to actively take part in the government’s earthquake preparation drills.

“It is terrifying that in just seconds, an earthquake could claim many lives and leave massive destruction. Through the whole-of-government and whole-of-nation approach, we should strengthen our prevention, mitigation, and preparedness measures against earthquakes,” he said.

Read more Daily Tribune stories at:

Follow us on social media
Facebook: @tribunephl
Youtube: TribuneNow
Twitter: @tribunephl
Instagram: @tribunephl
Threads: @tribunephl
TikTok: @dailytribuneofficial