Heavy rains, strong winds rip tents at Makilala, Cotabato evacuation sites

Robie de Guzman   •   November 12, 2019   •   532

Villagers rest at a makeshift shelter in the earthquake-hit town of Makilala on Mindanao island, Philippines, 01 November 2019. EPA-EFE/CERILO EBRANO

Strong winds and heavy rains destroyed several makeshift tents at two evacuation centers where some of the evacuees in Makilala, North Cotabato are staying following the recent earthquakes that hit Mindanao.

According to a CNEWS report by Raymond Octobre on Tuesday, evacuees endured thunderstorms on Monday afternoon while staying in their temporary shelters in Makilala Central Elementary School.

A cellphone video taken by one of the evacuees showed makeshift tents being destroyed and pulled apart by strong winds and heavy rains coupled with ice pellets.

At the Santos Land evacuation center in Poblacion, Makilala, several tents erected using tarpaulin and bamboo wood were also ripped apart by heavy rains that lasted for almost an hour.

Sheryl Orbita, acting Municipal Administrator of Makilala, assured no one was injured while an individual was brought to a hospital after falling unconscious.

Orbita added that evacuees affected by the heavy rains have been given assistance.

More than 50 families from the Santos Land evacuation center were also transferred to a temporary shelter in Makilala National High School while around 100 other families opted to remain in the area.

“Dinalhan naman din sila ng pagkain doon na luto na tsaka mga damit kasi nabasa yung iba may mga damit doon sa nililipatan nila,” Orbita said.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said that as of November 12, there are 20 evacuation centers catering to more than 4,700 families in Makilala.

Overall, there are 69 evacuation centers serving a total of 53,612 quake-hit families in Davao and Soccsksargen regions. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Raymond Octobre)

Duterte visits, vows aid to quake victims in North Cotabato

Robie de Guzman   •   December 30, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday assured continued support for residents in North Cotabato towns that were devastated by earthquakes between October to December 15 that shook parts of Mindanao.

“I assure you that the government will continue to help all of you until you are able to get back on your feet and start anew with renewed hope and greater capacity to lead dignified lives,” Duterte said in a speech during his visit to M’lang, North Cotabato.

Aside from meeting quake victims, the chief executive also distributed food packs as well as financial grants to residents from earthquake-stricken towns in the province.

North Cotabato is among the provinces heavily damaged by the series of earthquakes that jolted parts of the Mindanao region.

Last October, the province of Cotabato suffered three succeeding temblors – magnitude 6.3 on October 16, magnitude 6.6 on October 29 and magnitude 6.5 on October 31.

On November 1, a magnitude 5.0 quake struck Makilala, Cotabato just a few hours after a magnitude 5.5 tremor hit waters off Sarangani province.

The latest was a magnitude 6.9 temblor that hit Davao del Sur and shook neighboring areas on December 15.

The earthquakes displaced thousands of residents who are now staying in evacuation shelters.

Duterte said he has ordered the National Housing Authority (NHA) to fast-track the setting up of housing units for those who were rendered homeless by the recent quakes.

The president expressed hope that the assistance he extended will make the victims feel the warmth and joy of the season despite their current situation. He also apologized for not visiting them sooner.

“I condole with you. I share your grief. Sa totoo lang, kaya ako andito, pinilit ko, and I must apologize, I am very sorry that I couldn’t be here immediately. Marami hong problema sa Maynila,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Infant dies of severe dehydration in quake-hit Makilala, Cotabato

Robie de Guzman   •   November 7, 2019

An aerial shot taken with a drone shows makeshift shelters at an evacuation center in the earthquake-hit town of Makilala on Mindanao island, Philippines, 01 November 2019. EPA-EFE/CERILO EBRANO

MANILA, Philippines – A six-month-old infant died due to severe dehydration in Makilala town, Cotabato which was among the areas heavily-hit by earthquakes that jolted Mindanao last month.

According to Sheryl Orbita, acting municipal administrator of Makilala, the baby and her family were staying in a makeshift tent outside their home in Barangay Bulatukan due to aftershocks.

She said the baby had recurring fever and rashes on the body when a volunteer doctor visited their place on Sunday.

“Noong Sunday, nag-request na po yung grandmother ng doctor. Pinuntahan po iyan doon noong Sunday, ang inireklamo po is rashes binigyan naman yun ng gamot,” Orbita said.

But the baby’s condition worsened and was rushed to a hospital on Tuesday. Attending physicians declared the infant dead.

“Noong Martes lang po siya binawian ng buhay dahil po sa dehydration, doon lang po sa bahay nila,” Orbita said.

To prevent a similar incident, local authorities advised parents to immediately seek medical help when their relatives, especially children, feel sick or are manifesting symptoms of illness.

The number of people who died in Makilala, Cotabato due to recent quakes in Mindanao now stands at eight following the death of the infant.  

Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) said that more than a thousand quake victims were provided with free medical help and consultation following reports on the rising number of evacuees who have fallen ill in Makilala.

There are enough relief goods for all quake victims in the town but evacuees are complaining of the heat and cramped situation of families in tents at evacuation centers, on top of the trauma brought about by the recent tremors.

The local government has appealed for more understanding and assured it is now taking action to decongest evacuation centers.

“Alam namin na ‘yun ang nangyayari sa mga evacuation camps… Kaunting tiis lang po kasi ang LGU ng Makilala ay naghahanap na po ng paraan,” Orbita said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Janice Ingente)

Earthquake damage, losses in Mindanao agriculture reach P13M

Marje Pelayo   •   November 7, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) has noted the extent of damage that the recent earthquakes have caused to agriculture in North Cotabato and Davao del Sur.

Based on its latest report, the DA said damage and losses in earthquake-affected areas have already increased to P13.33 million from the initial P4.55 million.

The increase in the amount is attributed to the additional structural damage in Davao del Sur.

Among those damaged were several agricultural facilities, irrigation systems, and office buildings.

The DA assured that its regional offices are having an on-going physical inspection of the affected areas to further estimate the cost of damage and losses incurred.

Meanwhile, relief support has been continuously distributed to affected residents through the DA’s collaboration with concerned government agencies and non-governmental organizations. MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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