Quake-hit families begin going back home

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star
Quake-hit families begin going back home
A police line is placed on a ruined old house in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur province north of Manila on July 27, 2022, after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit the northern Philippines, killing one person, shattering windows of buildings at the epicentre and shaking high-rise towers more than 300 kilometres (185 miles) away in the capital Manila.
Ricardo Raguini / CJ Ericson Garcia / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — Families displaced by last week’s magnitude 7.0 earthquake that shook Abra and other Northern Luzon areas are now starting to return to their homes.

The number of persons staying inside evacuation centers is starting to go down, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC).

As of yesterday, only 989 families or a total of 3,319 individuals remained in some 30 temporary shelters in various affected areas.

Latest data showed a continuing decrease in number from 40 evacuation centers taking care of 1,070 or 3,781 individuals last Monday.

The NDRRMC said the number of affected families, however, has risen to 105,241 as of yesterday which translates to some 404,370 persons mostly from the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

One week after the earthquake, the number of injured persons remained at 394 with 10 deaths and no more missing persons.

The NDRRMC assured that clearing and relief operations continue as various national government agencies and local government units (LGUs) continue to assess damages.

The office of Vice President Sara Duterte has sent relief supplies for those affected by last week’s earthquake in Abra.

The OVP team, led by its Disaster Operations Center, delivered bottled waters, food packs, medicines and other supplies to the Abra Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office in Bangued for distribution to affected families.

Volunteers from the Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine National Police-Abra and Inday Sara Duterte Ako Movement assisted in the delivery of the relief supplies.

“Through the modest relief efforts of the Office of the Vice President, we would like to convey a clear and humble message to the good people of Abra – we are always with you. Abra has a special place in our hearts,” Duterte’s spokesperson Reynold Munsayac said.

Meanwhile, volunteers of the Angat Buhay non-government organization of former vice president Leni Robredo distributed relief packs for weaving communities affected by the quake in La Paz and Peñarrubia in Abra and Caoayan in Ilocos Sur.

Angat Buhay volunteers earlier turned over relief packs to the local government of Lagangilang, Abra for affected families.

In Manila, the organization’s executive director Raffy Magno met with the Planet Water Foundation to explore ways to collaborate in programs that would provide clean water to partner communities, including the deployment of water filtration systems in disaster-hit areas.

At least 700 persons affected by the earthquake in Northern Luzon have also received psychological first aid from Philippine Red Cross (PRC) volunteers. – Janvic Mateo, Emmanuel Tupas, Robertzon Ramirez, Pia Lee-Brago, Rudy Santos

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