The strong earthquake that hit Abra province this week hurt at least 44 people and dislodged some 18,000 families, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Thursday.
The 6.4-magnitude quake struck the mountain town of Dolores in Abra late Tuesday, barely three months after a magnitude 7 temblor hit the province and shook buildings hundreds of kilometers away in Metro Manila.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) in the Ilocos Region reported a total of 13 individuals injured, 14 health facilities damaged, 35 individuals, and nine families displaced during the earthquake that hit on the night of Oct. 25.
Two health facilities in Ilocos Sur were badly damaged by the earthquake—the isolation intensive care unit of Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center and the X-Ray machine of San Nicolas Municipal Health Office, DOH said in a report.
DOH Regional Director Paula Paz M. Sydiongco said they are still assessing the cost of damage to all the health facilities in the province.
Confirmed injuries from the latest quake came from the towns of Dingras and Banna in Ilocos Norte, and the towns of Lagayan, Daguioman, San Quintin, Bangued, La Paz, Sallapadan, Pidigan, San Juan, Pilar, and Malibcong in Abra, the NDRRMC said in its 8 a.m. report.
The ages of the injured ranged from 8 to 76 years old, the council’s data showed.
Some 61,000 people or 18,478 families across 3 regions in Luzon were also affected by the quake, with 341 persons displaced from their homes.
The quake damaged 1,821 houses and 125 structures, mostly roads and bridges, with the damage to infrastructure at P52.7 million, the NDRRMC reported.
As of Thursday, the government has extended P207,988.25 worth of assistance to affected residents, the disaster agency said.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) also provided food packs, tents, and financial aid, while stating it has enough funds to support calamity-stricken areas until the end of 2022.
DSWD Undersecretary Eduardo Punay said at a public briefing the agencyhad P1.4 billion available in standby funds and P450 million more in standby funds at its central office and field agency.
The department has also provided P5,000 worth of financial aid to the seven people in Abra who were injured during the earthquake.
A total of 236 family food packs worth P160,000 were distributed to the affected households in Abra, and modular tents were also provided, according to Punay.
Most of those affected are still afraid to return to their homes and have set up tents as temporary shelters.
In Lagayan, Abra, cracks were seen at the Pulot National High Schoolbuilding because of the shaking.
Various equipment and objects inside classrooms and offices were toppled over.
“We had a room in there with old laptops that toppled like dominoes.
The walls and the posts were destroyed. It’s no longer safe to use,”
Esterio Apolinar, principal of the school, told AFP.
The newly-constructed Lagayan Municipal Hall also suffered damage.
Sydiongco said those injured are being properly treated and managed by healthcare workers in various hospitals.
“We have already established a 24/7 operation of the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) and augmented two regional epidemiology and surveillance unit (RESU) officers as emergency officers-on-duty (EODs), and one HEMS staff on on-call-duty,” she added.
The health official also said an emergency composite team is also ready for deployment should further needs arise. She advised residents
to be cautious for aftershocks.