During the recent heavy downpour, safety alerts race against destructive rains and winds hoping to reach vulnerable people first so they can get out of harm’s way. But with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) admitting that its Friday 5 a.m. rainfall warning alert in Metro Manila and Cavite via cell broadcast and SMS arrived four hours late, and the 2 a.m. warning arrived three hours late, the reliability of its text blast advisory has become doubtful.
NDRRMC spokesman Director Edgar Posadas conceded their SMS public warning system is not perfect. He attributed the delay to the process of getting first the weather advisory from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, translating the message and forwarding the translation to the telcos for dissemination to the public.
Another delayed severe rainfall alert may spell casualty so the agency is now looking for ways to improve its alerting process. That may include praying the text message warning is received by the people before the deluge sweeps them away.