MAGNITUDE 6.9 QUAKE – Death toll rises to 48

MAGNITUDE 6.9 QUAKE – Death toll rises to 48

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Bohol only suffered minor cracks in some government buildings, including the municipal hall of Trinidad that was just inaugurated by President Benigno Aquino III last year, the Governor’s Mansion in Tagbilaran City and some buildings in Sikatuna and Clarin towns after magnitude 5 earthquake struck before noontime Monday.
In Negros Oriental where magnitude 6.9 was felt, death toll already rose to 48 yesterday.
In a press statement furnished to The Chronicle, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said that the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) already reported that aside from the fatalities, 52 persons were injured, and 29 missing individuals following the magnitude 6.9 earthquake in the Visayas last Monday.
Together with the affected LGUs, NDRRMC is conducting Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (DANA) in the affected areas, as instructed by the President.
The President also ordered concerned agencies to activate their response teams to aid the victims.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) have placed their quick response teams on standby ready for deployment, and have at least 2,000 family packs ready for augmentation.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) units have initiated evacuation efforts, and search and rescue operations; and helped in relief operations, alongside the assets of Philippine Navy (PN).
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has also conducted clearing and re-routing operations in roads and bridges rendered impassable.
Rehabilitation efforts are also underway for infrastructure that has been substantially damaged. The Department of Energy is also restoring power back to affected areas.
The NDRRMC, Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and DOST-PHIVOLCS and their corresponding regional offices will continue to monitor the situation and disseminate advisories and bulletins to the public, particularly to coastal communities in Negros Oriental and Cebu that need to be watchful of sea level changes due to aftershocks.
The President is deeply concerned about our countrymen in the affected areas. He is focused on ensuring that services resume at the soonest possible time.
He appeals to everyone to remain calm and cooperate with the authorities as they work to bring these areas back to normality.
Governor Edgar Chatto ordered TARSIER 117 to immediately check all areas in the province through the municipal disaster risk management councils, especially in coastal towns.
Captain Anelito Gabisan of the Philippine Coast Guard here belied reports that the sea level rose in the Bohol area after the quake.
In last Monday’s quake, Philvolcs measured the earthquake at magnitude 5 in Tagbilaran City and the areas of Roxas City; Dao and Ivisan in Capiz; Iloilo City; Ayungon town in Negros Oriental; Kanlaon City; Lapu-lapu City; Guimaras; Cebu City; San Carlos City; Bacolod City; Sagay City; Candoni and Binalbagan towns in Negros Occidental.
However, the quake was felt strongest at Intensity 7 in Dumaguete City and Vallehermoso town in Negros Oriental. It was also felt at Intensity 6 in La Carlota City and La Castellana towns in Negros Occidental and Argao town in Cebu province.
A child in Tayasan town was the first reported fatality a few hours after the quake. The victim was pinned by a concrete wall that collapsed during the quake. In Guihulngan City , also in Negros Oriental, 30 houses were buried by a quake-triggered landslide, and four people were killed in the landslide and 29 more were missing, a public market collapsed and a bridge was damaged.
The Phivolcs raised tsunami alert level 2 after the earthquake. The tsunami alert was later lifted at around 2:30 in the afternoon. The tsunami warning was raised to put on alert the residents in coastal areas, particularly in the eastern portion of eastern Negros Oriental and the western portion of Cebu province.
According to Philvolcs, the quake, which was tectonic in origin, occurred in waters off Tayasan town in Negros Oriental at 11:49 in the morning with a depth of 10 kilometers.
The strong quake was immediately followed by two aftershocks. The first aftershock measured at magnitude-4.8 and was recorded at 12:03 noon. It was followed by a 5.3 magnitude aftershock at 12:20 p.m. Monday. However, the aftershock count already reached 900 yesterday.
There were also reports that the earthquake shattered several glass panels of a shopping mall in San Carlos City.
A three-story office building collapsed in La Libertad town, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.
A police officer reported that five bamboo and wooden cottages were washed out from a La Libertad beach resort by huge waves, but there were no reports of injuries.
The quake was also felt at Intensity 4 in San Jose de Buenavista, Pandan, Anini-y, Patnungon towns in Antique; Kalibo in Aklan province, Dipolog City, Sipalay in Negros Occidental and Ormoc City.
It was also felt at Intensity 3 in Butuan City in Agusan del Norte; Legaspi City, Albay; Carmen, Cagayan de Oro; Tacloban City; Catbalogan; Saint Bernard, Southern Leyte; Masbate, Masbate; Cagayan de Oro City; Intensity 2 in Cabid-an, Sorsogon; Borongan, Eastern Samar; Mambajao, Camiguin and Intensity 1 in Pagadian City.
In Negros Oriental, the 302nd Infantry Brigade (IB) of the Philippine Army reported that 30 people are still missing in Planas, Guihulngan City and 20 others in Jimalalud.
Meanwhile, 40 people were reported wounded and undergoing treatment at the Guihulngan Hospital.
In Barangay Solonggon, La Libertad, 60 houses vanished due to a landslide as a result of the earthquake, while 29 houses were affected also by a landslide in Planas.
The breakdown of the fatalities is as follows: 21 in Planas; 5 in Poblacion Guihulngan; 2 in Martilo, La Libertad; 1, Magsaysay, Guihunlngan; 1, St. Francis, Guihungan; 3, Himalalud; 2, Tayasan; 11, La Libertad; 1, Binday; and 1 in Bais City.
Canadian volunteers have brought medicines for distribution to the victims at the 302nd IB, but the people are appealing for more help particularly for food, clothing and other basic necessities.
Vice President Jejomar Binay was expected to arrive in Negros Oriental to assess the earthquake damages.
Since the tremor hit before noon on Monday, some 700 aftershocks have been recorded by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.(with reports from PNA)

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