In a visit here yesterday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said all search, rescue and retrieval operations in the affected areas officially ended on Tuesday, amid estimates of P505 million worth of damage.
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Government ends earthquake search, retrieval operations
Ding Cervantes (The Philippine Star) - May 2, 2019 - 12:00am

PORAC, Pampanga, Philippines — All operations for the magnitude 6.1 earthquake that hit this province have wrapped up, with statistics showing 18 dead, 243 injured and 3,632 families affected in three Central Luzon provinces.

In a visit here yesterday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said all search, rescue and retrieval operations in the affected areas officially ended on Tuesday, amid estimates of P505 million worth of damage.

In a ceremony conducted near the collapsed Chuzon Supermarket here, Lorenzana commended and distributed certificates of award to the 1,548 civilians and police and military personnel who helped in the search and rescue operations. ?The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), headed by Lorenzana, said a total of 3,632 families were affected in 41 barangays in the region.

He said the government is still assessing the damage to determine how much funds would be needed for the rehabilitation.

Lorenzana said some P1.6 million worth of assistance has been extended by the government to affected families.

The funds were from  the Office of Civil Defense, Department of Social Welfare and Development and local government units. ?

Dry run

Lorenzana said the April 22 quake was supposed to serve as a dry run before the projected “Big One” occurs in Metro Manila.

He said once the West Valley Fault moves, the tremor would double the force generated by the recent magnitude 6.1 quake.

“We have learned enough lessons out of that magnitude 6.1 quake,” Lorenzana said, noting what happened at the Chuzon Supermarket will become one of the pre-disaster resilient preparations of the NDRRMC.

Disaster officials warned that 30,000 individuals will perish at once when a magnitude 7.2 quake, which will be triggered by the movements of the West Valley Fault or the Marikina Valley Fault System, hits Metro Manila.

Lorenzana said the projected immediate fatalities exclude thousands of others who would suffer injuries.

He said that on the first and second day of the disaster, survivors should expect no immediate help due to damaged roads, fire and collapsed buildings and bridges.

This is the reason why authorities are urging every family to have survival kits that would keep them alive while awaiting help.

The survival kit, Lorenza said, should include food, drinking water, battery-operated transistor radio, whistle, medicine and flashlights.

He cited the case at Chuzon Supermarket, where it took two days for disaster responders to conduct search and rescue. – With Jaime Laude

EARTHQUAKE NATIONAL DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND MANAGEMENT COUNCIL RETRIEVAL OPERATIONS
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