April 20, 2024

More than 6,000 families involving 24,356 individuals in the Cordillera were displaced by the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that jolted Abra, which also left 10 people dead and 277 injured as of July 28.

Out of the 6,531 displaced families in the region, 1,499 are in evacuation centers while 5,032 are outside the designated temporary shelters, based on the July 28 situation report of the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Cordillera.

Based on the report, 146 houses are totally damaged while 9,854 are partially damaged.

There are 42 evacuation centers all over the region, according to the report, which was uploaded on the DSWD-Cordillera Facebook.

DSWD-Cordillera Director Arnel Garcia told President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. in a briefing in Bangued, Abra on July 28 the agency released P10 million for families whose houses were totally or partially damaged.

The earthquake, with epicenter in Abra, affected all the six provinces and Baguio City; 42 municipalities; 383 barangays; and 37,823 families or 137,695 individuals.

The number of affected families and individuals are expected to increase as reports from the local government units were being collated.

As of July 28, the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported P12.5M cost of damage incurred by 55 infrastructures.

Irrigation facilities in Kalinga and Abra incurred P8.3M worth of damage.

Government agencies and local government units are advising the public to remain cautious as aftershocks are expected. Travelers, especially in areas with landslide-prone roads, were encouraged to defer trips that are not essential.

As of 10 a.m. of July 29, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology recorded 1,071 aftershocks with the strongest magnitudes ranging from 4.0 to 5.0, mostly felt in Abra.

National and regional line agencies were focusing their support to the province.

The Department of Health has sent 100 cot beds and 20 tents to the Abra Provincial Hospital for patients that were being treated at temporary stations outside the health facility as a precaution while structures in the province were being assessed for their integrity.

The DSWD has 8,516 prepositioned family food packs for Abra, while the Department of Agriculture deployed the Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita trucks loaded with assorted vegetables and other basic food items as part of the efforts of providing families access to safe and affordable food.

Augmentation troops from the Philippine National Police and Bureau of Fire Protection were also deployed to help in the disaster relief operations in the province while teams from the Department of Science and Technology started conducting earthquake geologic impacts and damage assessment to collect data that will help in the recovery plan of the province. – Jane B. Cadalig