IT JUST occurred to us that there seems to be no cries for help emanating from Surigao that was recently hit by two strong earthquakes: one at 10:03 p.m. of February 10, second a Friday when a magnitude 6.7 quake with an epicenter just 16 kilometers offshore northwest of Surigao City with a death of 10 kilometers in the Surigao Strait, and a magnitude 5.9 at 8:08 a.m. of March 5, with a depth of focus of 10 kilometer as well.
The earthquakes caused considerable damage. A total of 7,649 families made up of 38,245 persons in 82 barangays of Surigao del Norte were affected. Eight people died and 238 persons were injured in the two quakes and a total of 554 houses were destroyed by 7,021 houses were damaged, the biggest number of which was in Surigao City with 435 houses destroyed and 3,364 houses damaged followed by San Francisco (Anao-aon) in Surigao del Norte with 105 destroyed houses and 946 damaged, Sison with nine houses destroyed and 822 damaged, Malimono with 4 houses destroyed and 1,488 damaged, and Mainit with one house destroyed and 401 damaged.
Damage in infrastructure was pegged at P719.6 billion.
The damage report is not something to scoff at, why is it all quiet out there?
The answer: government.
Without much fanfare, government has been delivering the needed relief assistance and disaster response covered those by the NDRRM (National Risk Reduction Management) Operations Center, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Energy, Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (RDRRMC) Council-Caraga, RDRRMC-Surigao City incident monitoring team, PDRRMC Surigao del Norte, Department of Health, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Department of Public Works and Highways, Office of Civil Defense, and Bureau of Fire Protection, the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster, all doing their part as one composite assistance body.
It is indeed a reassuring presence when government is there to deliver the service expected of it. While indeed, there will still be those who will complain incessantly, and there will be instances where things will not work out as fast as targeted, there is corresponding relief and rehabilitation effort right after, and people no longer have to wait.
It's going to be a difficult return for those affected especially those whose houses were destroyed, and water supply will remain wanting. But it's enough to know that rehabilitation is being done and people need to beg.
Indeed, this administration may be found wanting in terms of tact, but of greater importance is how it acts and acts fast.