Close to 3,000 people or 911 families were affected by Saturday’s twin earthquakes that rocked Batanes, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported.
As of yesterday, there were eight dead, one missing and 63 injured. The injured were brought to the Itbayat District Hospital. Officials identified the missing as Edward Ponce.
The NDRRMC said the 2,963 individuals displaced by the twin quakes are temporarily sheltered in a public market in Barangay San Rafael, Itbayat where they are receiving relief goods and other assistance.
Officials said around 180 aftershocks were recorded after the two strong earthquakes that damaged houses, schools, health facilities and other structures.
NDRRMC spokesman Mark Timbal gave assurance there is no humanitarian crisis developing.
He said the delivery and distribution of relief items is smooth, notwithstanding a few discomforts for those who had to spend the night outside their destroyed houses.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) went on alert and assured immediate assistance to the local government of Itbayat to address the needs of families and individuals affected by the quakes.
The regional DSWD, through Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) of Batanes, is facilitating the financial assistance to bereaved families.
The SWAD is also distributing 1,000 tents and sleeping kits to the affected families.
The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is helping provide medical evacuation to injured residents.
Two teams of the PAF’s Disaster Response Task Units flew to Itbayat to augment the search and rescue operations of the police, military and Coast Guard personnel. The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) and the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Northern Luzon (OPANL) also pitched in the relief effort by deploying a C130 plane loaded with at least 3,000 packs of relief goods.
The national government vowed to provide P40 million to build a new health facility in Batanes.
President Duterte also ordered agencies to ensure that affected communities would have enough food and other relief items.
Duterte said disaster management officials should ensure that their supply line is working so communities affected by the earthquake would continuously receive assistance.
“Just make sure that your supply line is working and that nobody gets hungry. When people see the government supplies, it raises hope from so much distress,” the President said yesterday during a briefing on the situation of earthquake-hit areas at Basco Airport.
During the briefing, Duterte talked about a hospital damaged by the earthquake that hit the province last weekend. About P40 million is needed to repair the health facility, based on estimates by the public works department.
“Has the contractor repaired it? Where is the contractor? Kill him.
That contractor is disrespectful. Anyway, I’ll be giving you P40
million,” Duterte said. The President said he was not keen on repairing the hospital because
it would be “too expensive and you are not sure of its durability or
viability.”“I’ll give you P40 million. I hope you will put it to good use, small
clinic or hospital... You would need a transportation that is faster,”
he added. Duterte also assured local officials that the government has a lot of
relief items and food packs on standby. Officials said the government
could provide P30,000 assistance for each house that is totally damaged
and P20,000 for each partially damaged house. Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte was satisfied with the response to the Batanes quake.“Yes, we were ready and government agencies prepared for that. Even
if we experienced a disaster, the government has a ready response,”
Panelo said in a radio interview.Panelo said the government is ready to support the rehabilitation efforts in the province. Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said government health resources
have been mobilized to assist the quake victims especially the residents
of Itbayat town. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said that relief supplies are already available for victims of the twin earthquakes that hit Batanes early Saturday morning, July 27.
At least 200 family food packs are ready to be distributed to affected families in hardest-hit town Itbayat, according to the DSWD. At least 8 people died and dozens were injured when the earthquakes struck the province.
On top of that, some 3,600 food packs available for transport are in the capital of Batanes, Basco.
The social welfare department will be providing financial assistance through their team in Batanes. Six social workers will also be deployed to provide psychosocial intervention to the victims.
The field office in Cagayan Valley that caters to Batanes has P700,000 worth of protective services funds apart from the relief supplies. It has 29,132 family food packs in stock and food and non-food items worth P349,602 that can be used as additional resources.
DSWD said that the additional food packs will be airlifted to Itbayat using C290 planes, with the help of the Office of Civil Defense
DSWD's disaster hub has 1,000 tents and sleeping kits ready for distribution to affected families.
Itbayat, a coastal community north of Basco, has a population of 2,867, while the entire province has 17,246 residents, according to the 2015 census
The DSWD team in Batanes is closely coordinating with the local government if other assistance can be extended. If needed, DSWD said, their team is ready to airlift families to Tuguegarao.
The first earthquake struck Batanes early Saturday morning at 4:16 am. Intensity VI was felt in Itbayat, while Intensity III was felt in Basco and Sabtang.
There were aftershocks recorded, as well as a stronger magnitude 5.9 earthquake past 7 am, which struck east of Itbayat and registered stronger intensities – Intensity VII in Itbayat and Intensity IV in Batanes.
Another magnitude 5.4 earthquake east of Itbayat was recorded at 9:24 am.
The severity of the earthquakes left the Itbayat Church, ancestral homes, and heritage structures badly damaged.