Negros Oriental yet to recover from M6.9 quake

by Carine Asutilla, ABS-CBN News Central Visayas

Posted at Feb 05 2013 10:27 PM | Updated as of Feb 06 2013 06:27 AM

NEGROS ORIENTAL, Philippines - Several roads and bridges in Negros Oriental are still being rebuilt a year after a 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit the northern part of the province.

More than 150 families displaced by the quake are also still living in tents.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in Negros Oriental has spent P62,101,333.33 as assistance to 9 towns and cities affected by the earthquake last February 6, 2012.

The PDRRMC named Ayungon, Bindoy, Guihulngan City, Jimalalud, La Libertad, Manjuyod, Tayasan, Vallehermoso, and Bais City as the areas badly hit by the quake.

A total of 169 barangays in the 9 areas sustained damage from the quake.

Around 58,642 families and 286,299 individuals needed help but only 46, 334 families were reached and served by the province.

Guihulngan City had the highest number of families and individuals affected; 21,790 and 108,950, respectively, as all its 33 barangays were hit.

A total of 58 people died during the incident, with 24 of from Guihulngan City.

However, the most number of injuries was recorded in La Libertad, with 146.

The number is almost half of the 308 total number of injured persons.

Totally-damaged houses in the 9 areas in the first district reached 2,635.

La Libertad had the most damaged houses at 637, followed by 604 in the town of Tayasan, the epicentre of the earthquake.

The province also recorded damage to infrastructure amounting to P665,000,000.

Damage to both national and provincial roads reached P242,000,000, followed by national and provincial bridges at P208,000,000; waterworks at P130,000,000; and public works at P85,000,000.

Adrian Sedillo, spokesperson of the provincial government, said they are done with the clearing operations on areas where landslides occurred due to the earthquake and aftershocks.

Sedillo said that the most vital infrastructure affected by the earthquake is the Governor Billy Villegas Memorial Hospital, a district hospital in Guihulngan City.

Several rooms of the hospital were destroyed but have since been restored.

The provincial government is coordinating with government agencies in monitoring the rehabilitation of the damaged infrastructure such as roads and bridges from Jimalalud to Guihulngan City.

In La Libertad, 128 families are still living in tents in barangay Solonggon, while 38 families are also temporarily housed at the Guihulngan National High School grounds.

Sedillo said the government is setting aside money for the relocation of the victims.