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Fearful residents camp out

- Danny B. Dangcalan -

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – Residents in southern Negros Occidental camped out overnight and stayed in open fields and parks for fear of a tsunami after a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck Negros island Monday.

The quake, with its epicenter five kilometers northwest of Tayasan in Negros Oriental, was close to the southern part of Negros Occidental.

Provincial social welfare officer Liane Garcia, in her report to Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., said yesterday that their monitoring team saw many residents camping out in three cities and five towns in Negros Occidental. These are the cities of Sipalay, Kabankalan and Himamaylan, and the towns of Hinoba-an, Hinigaran, Pontevedra, Binalbagan, and Isabela.

In northern Negros Occidental, families in Calatrava, San Carlos and Sagay City have also camped out overnight.

Garcia said the respective local governments held community kitchens where they fed the families who stayed overnight in the plaza and other higher grounds.

Garcia said the families who camped out overnight returned to their home Tuesday morning.

The respective Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Councils of each town and city are regularly conducting assessment and monitoring of the effects of the expected aftershocks.

At 12:05 p.m. yesterday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) recorded another aftershock 18 kilometers off the waters of Tayasan, with a magnitude of 4.0.

It was felt at Intensity 2 in Iloilo City, and Intensity 1 in Canlaon City, Negros Oriental. Marañon said the provincial government will extend financial assistance for Negros Oriental, but the exact amount will be determined by the Sanguniang Panlalawigan (SP) in their regular session today.

The governor appealed to all Negrenses not to panic, amid fear of tsunami, because it is unlikely to happen.

He added a team from Phivolcs will be coming to Moises Padilla, one of the towns in southern Negros near Tayasan to also monitor the area.

Vicfran Defante of the Provincial Disaster Management Division Program (PDMDP) said several government buildings and malls in Negros Occidental have sustained cracked walls and floors, while a bridge in Talubangi Ilog also suffered cracks.

The PDMDP reported that the quake shook the city halls in Sagay and Cadiz cities and the Unitop building in San Carlos City, which all sustained cracks. The provincial buildings and the provincial administration center were not spared, either, withmost them sustaining cracks.

In southern Negros Occidental, the right side of the lobby of the Gaisano mall in Kabankalan also had cracks. The sulfur pool of Mambukal Resort was also affected. The Himamaylan hospital’s new buildings, Himamaylan gym and the Western Visayas State University also sustained cracks. 

ALFREDO MARA

CANLAON CITY

CITY

GARCIA

HIMAMAYLAN

ILOILO CITY

KABANKALAN AND HIMAMAYLAN

NEGROS

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL

NEGROS ORIENTAL

TAYASAN

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