800+ aftershocks

IT’S back to work for many residents of Cebu and Bohol whose workplaces were not damaged by the magnitude 7.2 quake last Tuesday, but they are one in saying that they are battling dizziness because of the endless aftershocks: more than 800 and still counting.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Center (NDRRMC) also said 823 aftershocks have been recorded as of 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Of these, 12 were felt, the NDRRMC said through their official website.

The death toll from the magnitude 7.2 quake that struck Bohol, Cebu, and affected nearby provinces rose to 144 Wednesday with only three people pulled alive from rubble, the officials said.

The three were rescued in nearby Cebu province hours after Tuesday's quake shattered office buildings, homes, and caused many centuries-old churches to crumble.

In Bohol, the quake's epicenter, the rescuers counted 134 dead, said regional military commander Lieutenant General Roy Deveraturda. Cebu reported nine fatalities and one died in Siquijor island.

The small coastal town of Loon reported 20 fatalities, the highest in Bohol, including those buried in a hospital and a church.

The NDRRMC said that as of 5 p.m. Wednesday, 291 people were injured while three were rescued in Cebu, Bohol, and Siquijor. Twenty-three others remained missing in Bohol.

The quake has so far affected 558,390 families or 2,841,956 people in 879 villages in 27 towns and seven cities.

Of these, 2,500 families or 12,500 people are staying in 13 evacuation centers.

President Benigno Aquino III and some officials are in Bohol Wednesday morning and proceeded to Cebu in the afternoon.

Secretaries Manuel Roxas II (Department of Interior and Local Government), Dinky Soliman (Department of Social Welfare and Development [DSWD]), Joseph Abaya (Department of Transportation and Communications), and Rogelio Singson (Department of Public Works and Highways) were already in Bohol to oversee the rescue, clearing, and relief operations.

Of those injured, 166 were in Bohol, 106 in Cebu, three in Siquijor, and one in Negros Oriental.

Damaged infrastructure

A total of 20 bridges were affected by the quake, 18 of which are impassable. There were also a total of 17 churches damaged.

Four major roads in Bohol are not passable: Cortez, Tagbiliran East Road, Tagbilaran North Road Km. 89, and Loay Interior Road.

Evacuation centers

Meanwhile, a report posted on Official Gazette said the DSWD on Wednesday opened 34 evacuation centers, serving 5,620 families with 28,100 persons.

All 34 evacuation centers are in Bohol and are located in the following areas: one in Tagbilaran City serving 600 families; two in Alicia providing temporary shelter to 150 families; six in Calape with 1,150 families; seven in Bilar with 765; two in Buenavista with 900, two in Correla with 400; four in Loboc with 405; one in Sierra Bullones with 50 families; four in Tubigon with 600 families; and five in Ubay with 600 families.

Initial accounting of damaged houses indicate nine totally and 284 partially destroyed houses, the DSWD said.

In the same post, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has advised the public that due to the disaster, all consular services, including passport services, at DFA Regional Consular Office in Cebu are temporarily suspended until further notice.

In Davao City, Emmanuel Jaldon, Central 911 chief said Central 911 is keeping its system alert to any type of emergency situations that may occur in the city and they will continuously monitoring to immediately respond to disaster and urgent situations.

In emergency cases, he said the first responders are the committee created within each barangay level called as Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, which the responders are oriented and equipped with preparation and mitigation measures.

"It's their primary responsibility. After sa level nila is yung Central 911 na. We are assisting them," Jaldon said. (With report from Sunnex)
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