PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said on Wednesday, October 26, 2022, that he is coordinating with concerned government agencies following the magnitude 6.4 earthquake that struck Abra on Tuesday evening.
Marcos said the Department of Public Works and Highways was already inspecting roads and buildings for possible damage, while the Department of Energy is dealing with power outages in the affected areas.
He said the Department of Social Welfare and Development is in charge of the relief operation, while the Department of the Interior and Local Government is the one monitoring the situation on the ground.
“Everyone is advised to keep out of tall structures,” Marcos said.
“Mag iingat tayo mga kababayan. Dadating na o papunta na kami para tumulong,” he added in Ilokano.
In a radio interview, Abra Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office officer-in-charge Arnel Valdez said 10 people from the towns of Lagayan, San Quintin and San Juan have so far been reported injured following the earthquake.
He said several structures such as the Nuestra Senora de la Paz Parish Church in La Paz town and municipal halls were damaged due to the tremor.
He said the church was already declared off limits to the public.
Classes and government work have also been declared suspended.
Valdez said landslides were also reported along Abra-Kalinga road, Abra-Ilocos Norte road, as well as in Tubo, Abra.
He said some residents opted to camp out in front of their houses following the earthquake to ensure their safety.
In Ilocos Norte, the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center in Batac City also suffered major damage after a section of the roof fell in an isolation intensive care unit.
The patients were immediately evacuated and no one was hurt in the incident.
Ilocos Norte Police Provincial Office said the Pinili-Nueva Era Road and Barani-Quiaoit Bridge is temporary closed due to clearing operations following an earthquake-induced landslide.
Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Manotoc has ordered the suspension of classes and government offices operations in the province.
He urged the residents to be alert as aftershocks are expected.
“During the earthquake, DUCK, COVER, and HOLD. Wait for the shaking to stop then walk outside calmly. Know the nearest evacuation center in your locality,” said Manotoc.
“Local government units are urged to open all possible evacuation centers and prepare food, water, and other necessities for evacuees. Distancing must be strictly observed to avert the possible spread of Covid-19 and certain diseases,” he added.
The epicenter of the earthquake, which was tectonic in nature, was located seven kilometers northwest of Tineg town. The tremor struck at 10:59 p.m.
The quake was earlier measured at magnitude 6.7 but was later downgraded to magnitude 6.4.
In July, Abra was also hit by a magnitude 7 earthquake that killed at least six individuals. (SunStar Philippines)