14,000 families hit by quake-A A +A
Thursday, February 9, 2012
CEBU CITY -- More than 14,000 families in Central Visayas suffered as a result of the 6.9-magnitude earthquake that hit parts of the region last Monday.
Of the total 73,377 persons displaced, at least 4,265 persons remained Wednesday in evacuation centers -- hungry, thirsty and far too afraid to return home.
Twenty-six were confirmed dead, with 71 still missing, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
Three earthquake victims from Guihulngan, Negros Oriental were transferred to the government-run Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City Wednesday morning.
Felia Acabal, 33, Nicalona Mejares, 7, and a 62-year-old man were all critically injured, according to rescue teams’ initial assessment.
Acabal and Mejares both had a fracture in their left leg after being hit by a firewall. His ceiling collapsed on the 62-year-old man at the height of the quake, the strongest to hit the region in nine decades.
The three were airlifted by a Philippine Air Force chopper Wednesday morning and arrived in Cebu City at 10:15 a.m.
Medical teams from Cebu City were also sent to Guihulngan, which lacks a medical facility that could help those injured, said Nonoy Mongaya, VSMMC information officer.
Lieutenant Colonel Cristopher Tampus of the military’s Central Command, based in Cebu, said there was still no water or power in Guihulngan Wednesday.
The Armed Forces sent five helicopters and two ships to Negros Oriental to assist those affected areas. The Armed Forces also sent 83 personnel to Guihulngan and 216 to La Libertad.
Tampus said the helicopters will be used to transport relief goods and injured victims.
“Helicopters are useful as the roads are damaged in some areas in Negros,” said Tampus.
With 10 bridges in Negros Oriental still impassable -- four of them in Guihulngan -- the total damage to public infrastructure was pegged at P265.76 million, the NDRRMC said.
In a press statement, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) sent a donation center set up at the regional office in Cebu City, and donations such as mats, tents, mosquito nets, kitchen utensils, underwear, slippers, potable water, food and clothing would greatly help the victims.
A hotline is also available to the public for inquiries: (032)2321192. In its updates, the NDRRMC appealed for donations of clean water, medicines, tents, picks and shovels for search teams, food for the victims and rescuers, and field oxygen tanks.
Also on Wednesday, President Benigno Aquino III donated P3.3 million to Guihulngan City, one of the areas badly-hit by the 6.9-magnitude earthquake in Negros Oriental.
Aquino, who inspected areas damaged by the quake, handed over the check to City Mayor Ernesto Reyes.
Some 90 houses were reportedly buried in Barangay Solinggon in La Libertad, Sitio Moog and Barangay Planas in Guihulngan City, following a landslide due to the quake.
About 29 people were feared to be buried alive while other survivors were injured.
Communications Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III said President Aquino assured necessary assistance and jobs for the people of Guihulngan.
The President, who is celebrating his 52nd birthday, flew to Dumaguete City to personally oversee the relief and rescue operations being done by concerned government agencies.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) recorded 1,239 aftershocks as of 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Mylene Villegas, Phivolcs Manila geologic disaster awareness and preparedness division chief, assured that the aftershocks to last Monday’s earthquake would subside in the coming days.
“The rocks underground affected by the earthquake are still adjusting,” she said.
She urged people to be watchful and to check their houses and offices for cracks.
She also recommended that schools conduct earthquake drills so that students would know what to do. (JBT/BAP of Sun.Star Cebu/With Jill Beltran/Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 09, 2012.