MANILA - Batanes has been placed under a statement of calamity after a series of earthquakes that struck the northern islands on Saturday left 9 dead, some 100 hurt, and homes and other structures damaged.
Batanes Governor Marilou Cayco said they have tapped into the province's calamity funds to buy relief supplies and construction materials for temporary shelters.
Evacuees need temporary shelters as tents may not be safe as a storm is approaching.
"Sana madala lahat ang relief goods dito bago dumating ang masamang panahon. Dahil dito kahit walang bagyo kung may habagat hindi rin nakakapag-unload dito sa Itbayat. Napakahirap, napaka-challenging ang pagdadala ng gamit dito sa Itbayat," she said.
(We hope all relief goods will be brought here before the storm comes. It's difficult to airlift and unload supplies here in Itbayat even with just monsoon rains.)
Hardest hit was the town of Itbayat, where almost all of its population of nearly 3,000 were displaced. Authorities estimated the damage at P50 million.
Aftershocks are still being felt in Itbayat, and Cayco said the bad weather is making things even more difficult for survivors.
"Hangga't mayroon pang aftershocks hindi pa sila babalik kasi sila rin mismo ayaw bumalik sa kanilang mga tahanan dahil sa aftershocks tsaka malalakas rin 'yung aftershocks," she said.
(As long as there are aftershocks they won't return to their homes. The aftershocks have been strong.)
"Ako iniisip ko mga tao dito kasi exposed sila sa lamig sa gabi, kasi umuulan dito. Tapos 'pag dating ng araw sobra namang init."
(I worry about the people here because they're exposed to the cold at night. It's raining here. Then during the day, it's so hot.)