Philippine Red Cross addresses psychosocial needs of Masbate residents after strong quake

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 23 2020 11:48 AM | Updated as of Aug 23 2020 11:57 AM

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MANILA - Residents of Masbate province who experienced the devastating earthquake last Tuesday are receiving psychosocial care from the Philippine Red Cross, a local official of the organization said Sunday.

"Sa ngayon, meron pa ring takot at nerbyos na nararamdaman 'yung ating mga residente dito, especially 'yung mga nasa Cataingan, and other areas nearby," Mary Jane Oxemer, PRC Masbate Chapter Administrator, said on ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

(Right now, our residents here are still scared and nervous, especially those in Cataingan and other nearby areas.)

The magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit 5 kilometers southwest of Masbate's Cataingan town at 8:03 a.m. of Aug. 18, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

As with Cataingan, the tremor was felt at Intensity 7 in neighboring town Pio V Corpus. Intensity 4 was reported in Palanas, and San Jacinto, Masbate; Sorsogon City; Legazpi City, Albay; San Andres, Quezon; Mapanas and Palapag, Northern Samar; Barugo, Dagami, Dulag, Julita, La Paz, Palo, and Tanauan, Leyte; and Sagay City, Negros Occidental.

In Baybay City, Isabel, Javier, and Kananga in Leyte; Ormoc City; Mulanay, Quezon; and Iloilo City, the quake was felt at Intensity 3. The areas of Guinayangan and Lopez, Quezon; President Roxas, Capiz; Patnongon, Patnongon, San Jose de Buenavista, and Tibiao, Antique, felt the quake at Intensity 2. Lezo, Aklan and Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental felt the quake at Intensity 1.

Oxemer said many Cataingan residents still spend the nights in schools, although they return to their houses during the daytime.

"Natatakot lang kasi sila, just in case magkaroon ng aftershock, or mas malakas na lindol sa gabi. Kinakabahan sila. So, talagang dun na lang sila sa school nagse-set-up. 'Yung iba naman, sa labas ng bahay," she said.

(They are afraid, just in case there are aftershocks, or a stronger quake at night. They are nervous. That's why they set up in schools; others just outside their houses.)

"Kailangan pa rin nila ng psychosocial support actually. Meron marami pa rin ang kinakabahan talaga," she added.

(They really still need psychosocial support actually. Many are still scared.)

Psychosocial services have been provided by the PRC last Friday, catering to the elderly and children, "para ma-process yung kanilang naranasang kaba dulot ng lindol (to process their fears caused by the earthquake)," said Oxemer.

The quake destroyed 65 houses and slightly damaged 583 others, according to Oxemer.

She said some residents of Barangay Matayum in Cataingan where a portion of the ground sank after the tremor have evacuated to their neighbors whose houses are sturdier.

A resettlement area will be provided by the local government unit since the area affected by the subsidence is declared no longer safe for residents, she said.

Officials have earlier said that at least one person died and 48 people were injured due to the calamity.

Oxemer said that aside from psychosocial care, the PRC had also set up first aid station and welfare desk for the victims of the quake.

Hot meals were served, food packs were distributed, and shelter kits were provided.

Food and cash assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and shelter repair kits from the Office of Civid Defense Region 5 have also been given, Oxemer said.