Death toll from Batanes twin quakes rises to 9
MANILA, Philippines — Fatalities from the twin earthquakes that hit the province of Batanes over the weekend has risen to nine, the Itbayat Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (LDRRMO) said Monday.
Nilda Garcia, the designated officer from the town’s LDRRMO, told INQUIRER.net that authorities have found the remains of Edwin Ponce, a resident of Barangay Sta. Maria, under the rubble of a collapsed cave in Itbayat town, making him the ninth fatality from the series of quakes that struck the town.
A magnitude 5.4 quake followed by a stronger magnitude 5.9 quake rocked the northernmost town of the country on Saturday morning.
Ponce reportedly left their home and went to the cave out of fear of the quake. The cave, however, later collapsed from aftershocks and a stronger earthquake that followed.
Meanwhile, Garcia said over 2,000 residents of Itbayat continue to stay in makeshift tents set up at the town plaza.
“‘Yun ang kulang sa amin kasi kakaunti lang ang dumadating na tents tapos more than 2,000 na tao ‘yung nandito sa plaza tapos daily na umuulan lalo na sa gabi, kaya pagdating sa gabi, basa kami,” Garcia said.
According to the data release by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Monday morning, 911 families comprised of 2,963 individuals were affected by the twin quakes.
President Rodrigo Duterte conducted an aerial inspection of Itbayat on Sunday and ordered authorities to ensure that supply lines in quake-hit Batanes are working to make sure nobody gets hungry.
Further, Duterte said he will give the local government of Batanes P40 million for the construction of a hospital in Itbayat.
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