Quake Casualties Now Six, 136 Hurt And Four Missing

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Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Facebook photo

By Fernan Angeles

Armed Forces of the Philippines Facebook photo

THE magnitude 7.3 earthquake which shook a huge chunk of Luzon has already killed six persons, with 136 others in the injured list as the government search continues for four other individuals believed to be under the rubbles, says the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Friday.

Among the fatalities include one from the Ilocos region and five from the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

In its 6:00 Friday morning bulletin, the NDRRMC also said that a total of 79,260 people or 19,486 families in 246 barangays in Ilocos and CAR were affected by the earthquake, with 5,819 individuals or 1,622 families staying inside 26 evacuation centers. Some 1,512 persons or 360 families are reportedly staying outside evacuation centers.

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., who flew to Abra the day after the incident, ordered national and local officials to maximize government assets for a collective effort in the search, rescue and relief operations in affected areas.

A shallow but extremely strong tremor hit Abra and adjoining provinces at around 8:43 in the morning last Wednesday. The earthquake which measured magnitude 7.3 in the Richter scale was located at 17.64°N, 120.63°E – 003 km N 45° W of Tayum in Abra.

Shuddering of the ground was felt as far as Metro Manila and southern Tagalog region.

In its assessment report, the NDRRMC claimed that 1,583 homes were damaged by the quake in the Ilocos and Cordillera regions.

Aside from the NDRRMC which hinted at P48.3 million in damages to residential structures, other government agencies also released its estimated cost of damages. The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) reported P4.5 million damage in irrigation facilities, while the Department of Agriculture (DA) claimed P3.8 million losses among Cordillera-based farmers.

The National Heritage Commission (NHC) has yet to make an assessment on the extent of damages to heritage sites in the provinces of Abra, Benguet and Ilocos Sur.

The NDRRMC, which earlier reported 17 damaged infrastructures amounting to P33.8 million, 35 damaged schools, five closed bridges, 79 impassable roads, 23 closed roads, 47 areas without power – said that electricity in 38 cities and municipalities have already been restored while only 11 of the 79 roads remain blocked due to debris from the hills.

As of Thursday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has recorded 808 relatively strong aftershocks.

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