BAGUIO CITY – Horrible memories of the intensity 7.9 killer earthquake that jolted most parts of Luzon on July 16, 1990 flashed back in the minds of the people after a nearly similar tremblor having a magnitude of 7.3 rocked the Northern Luzon area at around 8:43 am Wednesday, July 27, 2022 living six people dead, hundreds of injured and still undetermined value of government and private properties damaged.
Initially, the quake was said to have its epicenter 2 kilometers southwest of Lagangilang, Abra with a depth of 25 kilometers but latest updates from the Philippine Volcanology and Seismology (PhilVolcs) showed that the quake’s epicenter was said to be at 3 kilometers northwest of Tayum, Abra with a depth of 17 kilometers, tectonic in origin and had a magnitude of 7.
Concerned government agencies and local governments are still assessing the extent of damages inflicted by the earthquake to government and private properties as they are now working double time to provide the appropriate updates to President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. on the real state of the heavily ravaged areas for the appropriate action of the government.
Last Thursday, President Marcos and members of his Cabinet personally visited the province of Abra, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte to personally oversee the ongoing rapid damage needs assessment and to bring the government’s initial assistance through Social Welfare Secretary Erwin Tulfo.
The President assured local officials and residents of the calamity-stricken areas that the government is on top of the situation and concerned agencies will do their best to provide the affected populace with the appropriate assistance to allow them to recover from the horrifying effects of the tremblor that happened 32 years after the 1990 killer quake.
All the fatalities in the region died after they were buried by landslides and falling rocks in their respective places at the height of the shaking which also temporarily caused the closure of major road networks leading to the different parts of the region.
In Buyagan, Poblacion, La Trinidad, Benguet, a 28-year old construction worker who was identified as Genial Aaron Col-iteng, a native of Pilapil, Cervantes, Ilocos Sur and a resident of Pinsao Pilot Project, Baguio City, died after he was buried by the debris of the house under construction at the height of the earthquake.
Also in Tuba, Benguet, a 32-year old laborer who was named as Resty Emperador Tayas, a native of Pugo, La Union, died after he was allegedly hit by a falling rock at sitio Bayacsan, Poblacion while a 46-year old farmer from Sebang, Buguias, Benguet was reported to have died after being allegedly buried by a landslide in their place that was triggered by the movement of the earth during the quake.
In Bangued, Abra, a 23-year old woman who was later identified as Jonalyn Bilon Siganaym a resident of Zone 5, Bangued, died after being hit by debris of a structure in their area during the quake.
In Balbalang, Kalinga, a 24-year old construction worker who was identified as Jefferson Basar, a native of Tandang Sora, Quezon City died after he was hit by a falling rock while working in a rock netting project in the area during the tremblor while a 59-year old man named Andres Sagayo, a native of Paktil, Monamon Sur, Bauko, Mountain Province died after he was buried by a landslide while on his way to attend a wake in their community during the said incident.
The DSWD was able to provide the families of the fatalities with P10,000 each financial assistance aside from the cash assistance that were provided by their respective local governments such as in Benguet, additional P10,000 financial aid and P25,000 burial assistance to the family of the deceased, and P10,000 each cash aid to the 2 injured victims while in Mountain province, P5,000 financial aid.
Further, the DSWD as already able to distribute to the calamity-stricken areas in the region some P214,000 worth of non-food items for the calamity affected victims.
On the other hand, there are still around 23,805 available family food packs amounting to more than P15.6 million that is ready for distribution to the calamity victims aside from the available non-food items such as 38 sets of family tents, 1,413 pieces of modular tents, 3,344 boxes of sleeping kits, 1,466 boxes of family kits, 5,755 sets of hygiene kits, 40 packs of sanitation kits, 3,266 boxes kitchen kits, 935 rolls of laminated sacks, 78 pre-cut laminated sacks and 3,134 pieces Malong based on the consolidated data, there are some 1,611 families composed of some 5,472 individuals who are temporarily sheltered in various evacuating centers in the region while there are some 2,124 families composed of 7,935 individuals who are outside evacuation centers and opted to stay with tier relatives after their houses were damaged by the quake.
In terms of damaged houses, there are some 88 totally damages structures and some 6,049 partially damaged houses in the region due to the tremblor.
There are also some 263 injured individuals and 4 missing persons in the region as a result of the said incident that transpired in broad daylight.
There are some 24,22 families that were inventoried to have been affected by the earthquake where the same is composed of some 95,191 individuals which are based in the 6 provinces, 35 municipalities and 1 city in the region.
Moreover, there are also 272 barangays which were affected by the quake while there are some 39 active evacuation centers around the region catering to the needs of those that are inside the evacuation centers.
Photo by PNP Mountain Province PIO