Sunday, March 3, 2024

DSWD Rolls Out Aid To 70K Quake-Affected Families In Surigao Del Sur

DSWD Rolls Out Aid To 70K Quake-Affected Families In Surigao Del Sur

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The Department of Social Welfare and Development in the Caraga Region (DSWD-13) has started providing food packs to 70,195 families in Surigao del Sur affected by the magnitude 7.4 earthquake.

In an interview on Tuesday, DSWD-13 information office chief Marko Davey Reyes said the distribution began on Dec. 3 and was continuing in various parts of the province.

A tsunami warning following the Dec. 2 magnitude 7.4 earthquake that struck off the coast of Hinatuan town prompted the evacuation of thousands of residents in the province.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported a series of aftershocks and tremors in the province following the Dec. 2 quake.

“As of Tuesday, 5,100 families were already given food packs in Hinatuan town, especially those in the coastal villages,” Reyes said.

On Sunday, DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian met with Gov. Alexander Pimentel and other top officials of the province to assess the situation in the area.

 

Damage

A report from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) indicated that 580 houses were damaged during the Dec. 2 quake, with losses reaching up to PHP46 million.

On Dec. 3, the DSWD released initial assistance to 21 families, whose houses were damaged, under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation program of the agency. Families whose houses are wrecked received PHP5,000 each and PHP3,000 each for those partially damaged.

“Next year, as stated by Secretary Gatchalian, each affected family whose houses are either totally or partially damaged will receive PHP11,000 each under the Emergency Cash Transfer program,” Reyes said.

The PDRRMO reported some PHP15 million worth of damage to government buildings and facilities, and another PHP4 million to roads and bridges.

 

Continuing aftershocks

Meanwhile, Surigao del Sur residents may still experience aftershocks from the magnitude 7.4 tremor in the coming weeks.

Erlinton Olavere, a Phivolcs senior science research specialist of Phivolcs, said the recent tremor was recorded as the strongest so far in the Philippine Trench situated in the eastern portion of the country in the Pacific Ocean.

In Mindanao, the provinces of Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, and Davao Oriental are facing the Philippine Trench. (PNA)