Folk displaced by earthquake hit 33,000; injured at 320
MANILA, Philippines — The number of families or individuals affected by the magnitude 7 earthquake that hit northern Luzon on Wednesday continued to pile up way beyond the initial figures on Thursday, when the tally of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) was only beginning to clarify the situation in the quake’s aftermath.
The latest data from the NDRRMC showed 62,024 families, or 228,238 individuals, affected by the quake—an increase of 463.8 percent from the 3,456 families reported on Thursday, and of 1,663.1 percent from the 12,945 individuals as also initially reported by the council.
Most of the quake victims are from the directly affected regions of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Ilocos and Cagayan Valley.
The number of displaced persons grew to 33,383, compared with just 567 on Thursday.
Damage to agri, infra
Of the latest figure, only 6,176 have been sheltered in 46 evacuation centers, according to the council.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency said the Japanese government will send to the Philippines 100 camping tents, 500 sleeping pads, 100 rolls of plastic sheets, eight generators with 16 cord reels and 16 conversion plugs, and 100 portable jerry cans and water containers for the earthquake victims.
The death toll stood at 10, with the bodies of the last four fatalities recovered from the site of a landslide in Luba, Abra, the NDRMMC said on Friday.
The injured have more than doubled to 320 from Thursday’s figure of 131.
Damage to agriculture and irrigation infrastructure, mostly in the CAR, was pegged at P11.5 million, while the number of homes destroyed was now at 12,802, from 868 on Thursday.
SSS calamity package
The quake’s epicenter was located at about 3 kilometers west of the municipality of Tayum in Abra province.
The Social Security System (SSS) on Saturday said it will activate its calamity assistance package for members and pensioners in Abra and other areas in northern Luzon.
“The calamity assistance package will consist of the calamity loan assistance program and the three-month advance pension for pensioners,” SSS president and CEO Michael Regino said in a statement, which did not, however, disclose how much the agency would set aside.
Earlier on Friday, Government Service Insurance System president and general manager Wick Veloso said there are 5,733 members and 2,503 pensioners in Abra who may avail themselves of emergency loans.
But there were also no further details yet about that assistance.
—WITH A REPORT FROM BEN O. DE VERA