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Nation

North Luzon quake: 667 aftershocks recorded

Romina Cabrera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Up to 667 aftershocks of the 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck Abra on Tuesday night were recorded as of 3 p.m yesterday, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

Thirty-five of the quakes were plotted, which means these were detected by three Phivolcs substations, while 12 were felt by residents.

The aftershocks had magnitudes ranging from 1.4 to 4.8.

Phivolcs said minor to moderate magnitude aftershocks are expected to continue for several days to weeks.

It said the quake occurred near the epicenter of the magnitude 7.0 temblor that hit the province on July 27.

The quake was felt at Intensity 7, which is considered as destructive, in Danglas, Tubo and Licuan-Baay in Abra; Batac, Dingras and Pinili in Ilocos Norte, and Sinait, Ilocos Sur.

Phivolcs director Teresito Bacolcol said Tuesday’s quake could have been a “stress transfer” from the magnitude 7.0 earthquake.

45 injured

There was no reported fatality, but 45 persons were injured in the quake in Ilocos region and the Cordilleras, according to initial reports.

Abra provincial disaster management officer Arnel Valdez said five more injuries were reported in the province yesterday, bringing the total to 15.

Ilocos Norte recorded 30 injuries.

The Department of Health said 14 health facilities in Ilocos were damaged by the quake. The cost of the damage is still being assessed.

The 127-year-old church of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente in La Paz, Abra suffered major damage.

“We are sad because we cannot use it any more in our Sunday masses unless it is restored. It was cordoned off to avoid any accident,” Fr. Christian Edward Padua said.

He said masses would temporarily be held in a tent near the church. The conference hall will be used for small gatherings and services,  such as baptisms and weddings.

DSWD, DOLE aid

Social Welfare Secretary Erwin Tulfo led the distribution of cash assistance and relief goods to quake victims in Ilocos Norte yesterday.

He said the national government allocated an initial P20 million to assist 55 families in Ilocos Norte whose houses were damaged by the quake.

Tulfo said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) distributed 10,000 food packs to affected residents.

He visited Abra on Wednesday to lead the initial payout to families whose houses were destroyed by the magnitude 7.0 quake that struck the province in July.

Modular tents were sent by the DSWD’s National Relief Operations Center, also on Wednesday.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said quake-affected workers in Abra would receive appropriate assistance.

Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma said DOLE regional offices in quake-affected areas are conducting profiling and assessment.

“We have given directives to our regional offices to look into the extent of the damage relative to the affected workers and their families,” he said.

Laguesma said profiling of affected workers would serve as the basis for the grant of emergency employment assistance.

“We will provide assistance as long as there are available resources. We need to prioritize those in greater need,” he said. –  Artemio Dumlao, Jun Elias, Mayen Jaymalin

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