THE Cagayan de Oro City Government sent a disaster risk reduction and management team to assist in the rescue and relief operations in the earthquake-hit city of Surigao.

The team from the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Department (CDRRMD), composed of 2 ambulances, 2 vehicles, 1 supply vehicle, and 1 pickup truck, arrived in Surigao City on Saturday, February 11, a day after Friday evening’s magnitude 6.7 earthquake.

City Mayor Oscar Moreno said the team is part of Cagayan de Oro City’s efforts to help a neighboring city cope with the tragedy.

The Surigao City Council declared a state of calamity Saturday afternoon, noting that all of its 54 barangays suffered severe damages.

Seven persons were also killed while some 200 others were injured.

According to the Office of Civil Defense-Caraga, the casualties are identified as Lorenzo Deguino, 86, from Barangay Poctoy; JM Ariar, 4, from Sitio Aton, Barangay Ipil; Wilson Lito, 35, from Barangay Nonoc; Justina Roda, 83, from Barangay Bonifacio; Grobert Eludo, 40, Barangay Bilabid; and Wenefreda Bernal, 66 from Barangay Honrado in San Francisco town.

The Anao-aon bridge connecting the city and other municipalities was damaged while the Surigao City Airport will be closed for a month due to damage on the runway.

To date, electricity and water have been restored in some areas but residents are still cautious of aftershocks.

Soldiers of the 30th Infantry Battalion (IB), meanwhile, took a break from its ongoing operations against the New People's Army (NPA) rebels to assist the quake victims of Surigao City.

Lieutenant Colonel Rico Amaro, 30th Infantry Battalion commander, directed his troops to immediately respond and assist the communities within the unit's area of responsibility that were badly affected by the earthquake.

Troops under Alpha company were able to assist the communities in San Francisco town, Surigao del Norte and brought 3 injured persons to Caraga Hospital.

Also, troops under the Charlie company lead the retrieval operation of a one dead person around 1 a.m., Saturday, February 11.

"We assure the Surigaonons that the 30IB will be providing all the necessary assistance that will help the local government units bring back the normal situation in the whole province especially the devastated part of Surigao City," Amaro said.