Quake-hit Itbayat 'partially' recovered, temporary shelters needed

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 11 2019 12:17 PM | Updated as of Aug 11 2019 12:28 PM

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MANILA - The town of Itbayat in Batanes has "partially" recovered from the three earthquakes that rocked the province last month and left 9 dead, a local disaster official said Sunday.

Nilda Garcia, head of Itbayat Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, said 266 families, whose houses were totally damaged, are in need of temporary shelter in preparation for the rainy season.

"Partially nakabangon na kami. Ang concern lang kasi namin dito is 'yung bahay pero pagdating sa emotional na ano, okay lang na nakikitira lang kami," she told radio DZMM. 

(We have partially recovered, our concern here is housing but when it comes to emotional well-being, we're fine with staying with others.)

"Pina-practice namin iyong adopt a neighbor kung ganitong sitwasyon."

(We practice the "adopt a neighbor" mindset in this situation.)

Last week, monsoon rains enhanced by Typhoon Hanna (international name: Lekima) and strong winds tore off the makeshift shelter of the earthquake survivors.

Batanes is pounded every year by tropical cyclones and homes are built of stone to survive the annual onslaught.

Garcia said materials of the makeshift shelters have been loaded into a ship, which Batanes Gov. Marilou Cayco requested to head for Itbayat directly instead of making a stop in Basco town.

She said residents in need of shelter spend the night at their relatives or neighbors.

"May matulugan lang sa gabi, sa araw 'yung iba bumabalik sa plaza. Ang concern lang nila 'yung kung umuulan sa gabi, wala silang masilungan kaya nakikitulog na lang sila sa kapitbahay at mga kamag-anak," she said.

(Just to spend the night, others go back to the plaza. Their concern is when it rains at night, they have no shelter so they sleep at their neighbors or relatives.)

Itbayat Mayor Raul de Sagon echoed Garcia, meanwhile, said the town has enough supply of food and other goods for its residents amid the cause of delay of shipments due to bad weather.

"Meron pa naman kaming mga gulay sa bukid, may pagkain pa naman kami hindi lang namin ma-harvest ngayon dahil nakakatakot pa rin dahil sira-sira 'yung daanan namin. 'Yung sa aftershocks medyo ninernerbyos pa rin ang mga tao," he said.

(We have vegetables at our farm, we have food but we can't harvest right now because our roads are still cracked. Residents are still nervous because of aftershocks.)

"Meron pa namang stocks. In our experience hindi naman aabutin ng napakatagal 'yung ganitong (panahon) at nata-timingan din ng mga bangka and then ganun din ang by air."

(We still have stocks, in our experience this kind of weather will not last long and boats can time their trips.)