January 29, 2023

The rapid assessment team composed of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau and the Philippine Institute of Volcano-logy and Seismology has recommended the evacuation of 21 families in Barangay Supo, Tubo, Abra due to the possibility of a massive landslide as a result of the magnitude 7.0 quake on July 27.

Office of the Civil Defense-Cordillera Chief of Operations Frankie Cortez said the team found tension cracks at the mountain where a village is located nearby.

Cortez said the aftershocks and the expected typhoons could trigger a landslide.

The OCD and the MGB is also monitoring an area in Sacasacan, Sadanga because of the presence of a “deep-seated” landslide affecting 10 families.

He said people in danger zones should remain vigilant and evacuate if needed.

Cortez said aftershocks have waned but it is still occurring from the time to time, adding the recent earthquake is another reminder for the public to plan for any eventuality in advance.

“Prepare a go bag and plan with your family where you will meet after (the earthquake)”, Cortez said.

Meanwhile, Cortez said Abra is now transitioning into the recovery phase as families who evacuated have started returning to their houses.

The total cost of damage on infrastructure has reached P1,805,650,590.62 as of Aug. 10. 

Only four schools are being used as evacuation center. These centers will soon close to give way to the opening of classes said Department of Social Welfare and Development-Cordillera Assistant Director Enrique Gascon Jr.

The remaining evacuation centers Supo National High School, which has 21 families, or 58 individuals,  Sagap Elementary School in Bangued with 86 families, or 320 residents, Lumaba Integrated School in Villaviciosa which as 19 families or 44 people, and Villaviciosa Central School with 77 families or 216

Gascon said the DSWD has requested its central office for the release of funds for the cash for work of individuals who have been displaced due to the earthquake. Educational aid of P1,000 for those in elementary school, P2,000 for junior high school, P3,000 for senior high school, and P4,000 for college and technical-vocational has also been downloaded for release to qualified beneficiaries.

For the long-term, the DSWD and the provincial government will coordinate with the National Housing Authority for housing projects for those who have been displaced. The July 27 earthquake has affected 114,389 families where 248 families composed of 771 individuals have been displaced. There were also 27,395 partially damaged houses and 692 partially damaged houses, according to the DSWD. – Rimaliza A. Opiña