300 living in danger zone ordered to evacuate
CARMEN, North Cotabato—At least 50 families in Barangay (village) Kimadzil here were ordered to leave their homes and communities as the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology declared their areas danger zones following last week’s 5.7-magnitude earthquake.
The move of the North Cotabato Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) was meant to save lives and properties in the wake of series of aftershocks since June 1.
The forced evacuation was carried out starting last Friday and completed on Sunday.
The families, with their valuables and work animals, were temporarily housed inside the barangay hall compound, where the local government provided them food.
A 2-hectare lot is being prepared by the local government of Carmen as a relocation site of the families whose former community lies in the so-called Carmen-Bukidnon fault line.
Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development continued its relief operations to families whose houses were damaged by the earthquake.
Aling Conchita, one of the residents of Barangay Kimadzil, said life was difficult. “We are afraid the earthquake may strike anew; we are afraid to attend to our cornfields, as aftershocks occur every now and then,” she said, adding that many families could not return home since they no longer had homes to return to.
The PDRRMC reported 141 houses were damaged due to the tremor.
North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Mendoza has directed all concerned government agencies to attend to the needs of affected families, including the agriculture department, which has been providing agriculture assistance to displaced families.
The entire province had been declared under state of calamity following the earthquake.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology- North Cotabato station head engineer Hermes Daquipa reported that the agency has recorded 346 aftershocks since June 1.
The latest aftershock recorded was at 5:10 a.m. Monday.
Daquipa said aftershocks would continue to occur for at least a month after June 1.
Romelito Flores, acting schools division superintendent of North Cotabato, said classes went on smoothly on Monday in 98 percent of public schools in Carmen.
Classes in the villages of Kibudtungan and Kimadzil have yet to open, as construction of temporary learning centers in front of shattered school buildings was still going on. Edwin Fernandez, Inquirer Mindanao
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