Aftershocks grip Surigao; ARRM sends relief assistance

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DISASTER mitigation teams remained on heightened alert on Tuesday as aftershocks continued in Surigao City that alarmed residents here after the magnitude 6.7 earthquake hit the city last Friday, causing death, injuries and massive damage to property.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said a total of 1,790 families or 9,320 people have been affected by the quake that killed eight, injured 2,019 and damaged 1,790 houses, 143 of which were destroyed.

The affected residents were from the 60 barangay (villages) of Surigao del Norte.

Officials initially estimated damage to infrastructure at P112.45 million.


The NDRRMC placed damage to property at more than P108 million.

Last Saturday, the government of Surigao City declared a state of calamity.

Classes remain suspended and there were work stoppages in some establishments in the affected province, Romina Marasigan, NDRRMC spokesman, said.

The NDRRMC is appealing for temporary closure of establishments especially high-rise buildings until the structures are declared safe.

“Relief operations are still ongoing now since some of the affected residents have encamped in their houses so we continue to give them aid. At the same time, we are continuing our assessment of structures in the city so we can ensure that they are safe, then hopefully in the coming days we can start early recovery efforts and eventually move toward rehabilitation,” Marasigan said.

She added that power supply has been restored but residents will continue to experience sudden power outages, which are preventive, because of intermittent aftershocks.

Aside from distributing relief goods and providing temporarily shelters, social workers, according to Marasigan, are giving psycho-social support to affected residents especially those who suffered trauma as a result of the earthquake.

97 percent power restored



The National Electrification Administration (NEA) on Tuesday said Surigao del Norte Electric Cooperative Inc. (Surneco) has restored 97 percent of power.

NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong lauded the officials and employees of Surneco “for heeding the call of duty even if they themselves were affected by the earthquake.”
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As of Sunday, Surigao City and all four affected municipalities ? San Francisco, Malimono, Sison and Taganaan covered by Surneco had been energized.?

The rest of the restoration works, Masongsong said, will be concentrated on reconnecting lateral lines and power lines near the coastal areas.

As of Sunday, Surigao City and all four affected municipalities – San Francisco, Malimono, Sison and Taganaan – covered by Surneco had been energized.

The rest of the restoration works, Masongsong said, will be concentrated on reconnecting lateral lines and power lines near the coastal areas.

The estimated cost of the damage to the co-op’s headquarters is P7 million, while line network damage is estimated at P300,000.

“We want to assure our affected member-consumer-owners that NEA and Surneco are conducting round-the-clock operations to be able to provide power to areas that are as yet unenergized,” Masongsong said.

“We will likewise continue to upgrade the pre-positioning capacities of electric cooperatives nationwide to better respond to calamities and other emergency situations,” he added.

Relief assistance

The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) through its Humanitarian and Emergency Action Response Team (ARMM-HEART) has sent relief assistance to earthquake victims in Surigao City.

“The people of Surigao need assistance, and we should provide whatever we can,” ARMM Executive Secretary Laisa Alamia said.

An ARMM-HEART team left Cotabato City on Monday bringing relief assistance with 200 sacks of rice, 50 boxes of instant coffee, 100 boxes of sardines and 100 bottles of five-liter distilled water.

ARMM-HEART is a convergence of agencies that oversees disaster preparedness and response in the region.

The team includes the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Science and Technology, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Office of Civil Defense and Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.

WITH VOLTAIRE PALAÑA AND JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL

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