At least 6 reported dead in Luzon earthquake: NDRRMC

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 29 2022 10:06 AM | Updated as of Jul 29 2022 08:36 PM

A landslide blocks Halsema Highway in Mountain Province after a powerful earthquake jolted the Cordillera Administrative Region on Wednesday. Authorities have advised motorists and travelers to postpone their trips to the area. Mountain Province MDRRMO
A landslide blocks Halsema Highway in Mountain Province after a powerful earthquake jolted the Cordillera Administrative Region on Wednesday. Authorities have advised motorists and travelers to postpone their trips to the area. Mountain Province MDRRMO

MANILA (4th UPDATE) — At least 6 were reported killed following the magnitude 7 earthquake that struck northern Luzon this week, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Friday.

Five people have been confirmed dead, while authorities are verifying another fatality, according to NDRRMC spokesperson Mark Timbal. 

The temblor that jolted Abra province and was felt in parts of Metro Manila also left 136 injured and 4 missing, he said.

A total of 79,263 persons were affected, with 1,622 families still in 26 evacuation centers while 1,512 persons are camped outside their homes, Timbal added.

"Power supply has largely been restored in affected areas except those that sustained major damage," he told ANC's Headstart, adding that water service was interrupted in 1 town.

Some 1,500 houses were damaged, while infrastructure in affected areas took an estimated P48.3-million damage, Timbal said. Local disaster offices have advised residents not to return to their homes until structural integrity has been assessed, he added.

The figures can still rise, Timbal said. 

"May projections po ang ating social welfare team na it can go as high as 4,000 houses that have been damaged. Tuloy-tuloy ang assessment natin on that," he said in a public briefing. 

(We have projections that it can go as high as 4,000 houses that have been damaged. Our assessment is still ongoing on that.)

The cost of agricultural and irrigation damage was around P2.8 million and P4.5 million, respectively, according to Timbal.

Based on the most recent report of the agriculture department's disaster response office, agricultural loss already reached P28.7 million in Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, and Cagayan Valley. 

"These include irrigation systems, farm to market roads, and farm structures," the office said in its report. 

"According to the National Food Authority, there is sufficient rice buffer stock inventory for immediate relief operations in CAR, Regions I, II and III," it added.

It noted that P100 million worth of quick response funds are available for farmers. 

The office also mobilized 2 units of Kadiwa trucks carrying 3 metric tons of assorted highland vegetables, dried fish, and other food items to the Abra, it said. 

The NDRRMC's priority, meanwhile, is to provide food, water and other necessities to affected persons, Timbal said. It has so far released P400,000 worth of assistance, he said.

"Our government has signified there are standby funds ready to be provided to local government units in case they would need augmented funding," he said.

STANDBY FUNDS

The NDRRMC alone has P323 million in standby funds, of which P247 million has been allotted as quick response funds that local government units could use, Timbal said. 

"May stockpiles po tayo food and non-food items na nag-aantay pa rin, ready for distribution amounting to P1 billion," he said.

(We have stockpiles of food and non-food items waiting and ready to be distributed amounting to P1 billion.)

Eighteen military teams meanwhile are on standby for additional support in search and rescue or relief distribution.

"We have more people assisting kaya if you notice po na 4 na missing for this day, hinahanap pa rin yan," Timbal said. 

(We are still looking for the 4 people missing until now.) 

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