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Govt’ assures aid to quake-hit Mindanao

Vice President Sara Duterte (sitting in front, rightmost) presides over a meeting of the Response Cluster of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) at the NDRRM Operations Center in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Nov. 18, 2023 in the aftermath of a magnitude 6.8 earthquake that strikes Sarangani, Davao Occidental. With her are (L-R, seated in front) Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Administrator Ariel Nepomuceno and Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. (Photo by OCD)

The national government is prepared to transport much needed food packs, tents, hygiene kits and other relief items to thousands of residents in Mindanao who were affected by the magnitude 6.8 earthquake that rocked Sarangani, Davao Occidental on Friday, Nov. 17.

This was the assurance given by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Saturday, Nov. 18, after its Response Cluster held a meeting presided by Vice President Sara Duterte and attended by Department of National Defense (DND) Sec. Gilberto Teodoro Jr., Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Administrator Usec. Ariel Nepomuceno and DRRM officers at the NDRRM Operations Center Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

“Natutuwa kami sa Operations Center kasi nakikita natin kung gaano kahusay ang pagmamando ng local governments sa emergency na ito. Sa kasalukuyan, pasok pa rin po sa kakayahan ng local governments ang paghandle nitong emergency (We are glad at the Operations Center because we have seen how the local governments are managing this emergency. Right now, the local governments are handling this emergency very well),” NDRRMC deputy spokesperson Mark Timbal said in a radio interview with dzBB.

“Ang ibinilin lang ng Pangulo at Vice President Sara, Secretary Teodoro, at Usec. Nepomuceno, lahat ng ahensya ng pamahalaan lalo na ang OCD at DSWD ay dapat ready magbigay ng tulong sa local government units kapag kinailangan ng karagdagang supply (The only thing that the President [Ferdinand Marcos Jr.] and Vice President Sara, as well as Secretary Teodoro and Undersecretary Nepomuceno instructed to us is that all government agencues especially the OCD and the [Department of Social Welfare and Development] should be ready to give assistance to the local government units if there is a need to augment their supplies),” he added.

The supplies from the national government such as family food packs, tents, and hygiene kits among others were prepositioned in regional hubs and ready to be deployed using logistical support from the military and police, Timbal noted.

The earthquake, according to data from the NDRRMC, has affected 180 families or 1,509 individuals, of which, a total of 1,070 persons were evacuated to safer grounds.

The OCD was still verifying seven reported fatalities due to the quake: three in General Santos City; two in Glan, Sarangani; and one each in Jose Abad Santos, Davao Occidental and Malapatan, Sarangani.

At present, Timbal said that local cooperatives were striving to restore power supply after electricity was cutoff in 21 areas in Regions 11 and 12.

Meanwhile, no interruption was reported on water suply while there was only minimal interruption on communication signal in the affected regions.

State of calamity

Timbal said that no locality has declared a state of calamity as of this writing.

As of this time, wala pang ulat na may declaration ng state of calamity, possible po kasi continuing pa ang assessment doon sa affected areas. Baka later within the day or within the next few days makatanggap na tayo ng assessment (As of this time, we have not yet receive a report about the declaration of state of calamity, possibly because the assessment is still continuing in the affected areas. Maybe later within the dat or within the next few days, we will already receive an assessment),” he said.

Meanwhile, the NDRRMC reminded residents in affected areas to remain vigilant as a total of 56 aftershocks were recorded so far but only one of them was felt.

Ang magnitude range ng aftershocks ay between 1.4 to 3.9 so medyo mahina. Hopefully, ganoon na lang hanggang matapos para matigil na ang pag-aalala ng mga kababayan natin at makabalik na sila (The magnitude range of the aftershocks is between 1.4 to 3.9 so its not that strong. Hopefully, it stays that way until everything is settled, to ease the worries of our fellowmen and so they can go back to their [homes]),” Timbal said.

Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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