Editorial: Quick step, march!-A A +A
Sunday, October 20, 2013
RESIDENTS of Central Visayas, who for the past week had to contend with the fear that comes with shaking grounds, were again awakened by a 5.2-magnitude earthquake at 4:40 a.m. Sunday.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) placed the epicenter in at 60 km N, 44 km E of Tagbilaran City at a shallow depth of 5 kilometers just off Sagbaya in Bohol where the 7.2 magnitude earthquake last Tuesday that had so far killed 185 in the provinces of Bohol and Cebu and injured 583, with nine still missing as of 7 a.m. of October 20.
Lesser quakes, a total of 10 until 3:30 p.m., followed all with epicenter around Tagbilaran City: 4.2 at 5:11 a.m., 4.2 at 5:29 a.m., 4.3 at 5:43 a.m., 4.0 at 6:38 a.m., 3.9 at 6:53 a.m., 3.3 at 8:11 a.m., 5.0 at 8:45 a.m., 2.4 at 11:16 a.m., 4.1 at 2:23 p.m., and 2.6 at 3:30 p.m., the Phivolcs reported.
As reported by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported, as of October 20, the 7.2 magnitude earthquake last Tuesday had destroyed a total of 8,480 houses and damaged 28,165 in Bohol, Cebu, Negros Occidental, Iloilo and Guimaras along with seaports, airports, churches, government/public buildings, schools, hospitals, and private establishments in Western, Central, and Eastern Visayas.
A total of 38 bridges were affected of which 34 are passable, 4 rendered impassable, and three barely passable in the provinces of Bohol, Cebu and Negros Occidental and 16 roads were damaged, two roads rendered not passable, and one barely passable in the provinces of Bohol and Cebu.
But as yesterday's aftershocks -- along with the over a thousand aftershocks felt since Tuesday show, the earth continues to move, and with man-made structures, this continuous movements will still take its toll, not now maybe, but it will.
The work is thus not yet done with the delivery of relief goods and services. There is the detailed inspection of all surviving structures.
There is a lot to be done, and National Government officials should finally learn that disaster actions are not for the ones who are only there for the gab. Government needs to show some muscles, and show them now. It's been three years of disasters and they still move like they have all the time in the world and that the victims too have all the time in the world to wait. With every day that ends, a new disaster threatens; maybe no longer coming as a surprise by some natural hazards, but by lack of food, health services, hope, and even patience.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 21, 2013.