Bohol residents moving on 6 months after quake

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Sunday, April 13, 2014


BOHOL -- Clutching a gallon of water in each hand, siblings Mariz and Mark John Aparicio make a steep descent across a fault line.

Wells dried up in Barangay Anonang, Inabanga, Bohol following the 7.2 magnitude earthquake last October 15, leaving the residents without choice but walk a kilometer every day to get water from a spring.

Mariz, 11, and Mark John, 9, live in a house about five meters from the large crack that appeared during the earthquake.

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“Wala man mi lain kabalhinan (We have nowhere else to go),” said their 43-year-old mother Menesia. Besides, she said, experts from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology assured them the area is safe.

The three-kilometer fault line, which elevated one side of the ground by ten feet, extends to the neighboring town of Sagbayan, damaging a chapel, a road and several farms.

The newly discovered fault, state volcanologists said, caused the earthquake, which killed more than 200 in Bohol and displaced more than 300,000 people.

6 months after quake
REMAINS OF THE QUAKE. Children in Barangay Anonang, Inabanga, Bohol cross through faultlines despite perimenter fences installed by government just to fetch water. Since the 7.2 magnitude quake last year, the old water sources in the area have been damaged. (SUN.STAR FOTO/ALEX BADAYOS)


Residents might soon see an influx of tourists with the Bohol Provincial Government planning to develop the area into a tourist site.

Tourism

Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto expressed interest in developing the site for tourism and geological studies.

The fault has drawn the attention of tourists, prompting barangay officials to put up direction signs. Officials have also cordoned off the fault with a rope to keep visitors from stepping on the crack.

When the earthquake struck, the locals left their houses and didn’t return for a month for fear the strong aftershocks would widen the crack.

Almost six months after the earthquake, residents continue to feel aftershocks.

“Makurat gihapon pero naanad na me (We get frightened, but we’re already used to it),” Anonang Barangay Captain Felix Caray said of the aftershocks, which experts said may continue up to a year.

Survived

Anonang, which has a gently sloping terrain, is home to almost 1,000 people.

Menesia, her husband, and their six children have lived there for eight years. She makes bread for a living while her husband plants crops.

Four of her eight siblings also lived in Anonang.

When the earthquake struck on the morning of Oct. 15, Menesia and one of her daughters were inside the house. They heard a series of explosions.

If the crack hit their two-story house, made of wood and concrete, Menesia said they might have been killed.

She still fears for their safety despite assurances from experts who surveyed the fault.

“Hadlok gyud gihapon me, labi na naa ra sa among likod (We’re still afraid, especially that the fault is right behind the house),” she said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 14, 2014.

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