Quake deaths hit 215; infra damage P2.2B
MANILA, Philippines—Two weeks after a magnitude-7.2 earthquake hit Bohol, bodies are still being found under collapsed infrastructure whose total damage is estimated at over P2.2 billion.
Two more bodies were recovered—one in the village of Antequera and another in Tubigon—bringing the number of fatalities in Bohol to 201, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said in a report on Sunday.
This brought the total number of deaths due to the earthquake to 215, including the 13 killed in Cebu and one in Siquijor, the agency said.
Assessing the damage, authorities estimated that at least P2.2 billion worth of roads, bridges, flood control facilities, school buildings, hospitals and other public buildings in Central Visayas had been adversely affected.
The damage to infrastructure in Bohol alone was placed at P1.38 billion; P817,951,000 in Cebu; P1.45 million in Siquijor; and P270,000 in Negros Oriental.
The devastating earthquake struck on Oct. 15 and was felt in Central Visayas and parts of northern Mindanao.
The quake disrupted the five-day schedule for the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) for the barangay (village) elections, which has been rescheduled for Nov. 25 in Bohol, the hardest hit province.
The filing of COCs in the province will resume Monday and end Tuesday, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced on Sunday.
The poll body has given barangay aspirants there two extra days to make their bids official.
Aside from hundreds dead, the earthquake left more than 380,000 people in need of basic things such as water, sanitation, food and medicine while at least 35,000 families need emergency shelter.
Earlier, Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso welcomed the decision of the Comelec to postpone the barangay polls in the province.
“The great calamity that devastated Bohol reduced the people to a survival level that to engage in politics like an election would be improper, to say the least,” said Medroso.
The quake also disrupted judiciary proceedings in the region.
The Court of Appeals branch in the Visayas based in Cebu City remained closed due to building safety and fire hazard issues.
The appellate court’s presiding justice, Andres Reyes Jr., said the Cebu City office would remain closed until government inspectors assured them that the building was safe.
He ordered the closure on Oct. 22.
“Considering the magnitude-7.2 earthquake that hit Cebu City, the Cebu station of the Court of Appeals is hereby closed effective today, October 22, 2013, for safety reasons until further orders by the undersigned upon receipt that the building has been inspected by the proper government authorities and certified safe to be occupied,” Reyes told CA Visayas Executive Justice Pampio Abarintos in a memorandum.
Though the courts are closed, Reyes said the CA Visayas should maintain a minimum number of personnel in the docket and cash sections to continue to receive pleadings and the corresponding filing fees.—With a report from Dona Z. Pazzibugan