Help pours in as death toll in Mindanao quake reaches 21

Maris Federez   •   November 3, 2019   •   507

The number of confirmed deaths in the wake of the magnitude 6.6 and 6.5 quakes that struck Mindanao in the past weeks has reached 21.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), most number of fatalities was recorded in Cotabato with nine deaths caused by the magnitude 6.6 tremor and another nine in the magnitude 6.5 quake.

Davao del Sur, on the other hand, registered three deaths caused by the 6.6 quake.

The NDRRMC data also showed 432 individuals sustaining injuries due to the tremor; 301 of which are in Region XII, 117 in Region XI, 14 in Region X, and 1 in BARMM.

The council also confirmed that the temblor that hit the southern part of Mindanao had affected around 35,000 families or around 178,000 individuals in 200 barangays.

Several groups from the public and private sectors, including the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Task Force Tabang Mindanao and the Coast Guard District South Eastern Mindanao, had extended assistance to the affected families.

Meanwhile, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Saturday (November 2) directed the Department of National Defense (DND) to lead all relief efforts and to ensure safety and security of the public in the earthquake stricken areas of Mindanao.

Medialdea also advised the public “to coordinate directly with the DND and/or the NDRRMC to ensure the efficient conduct of relief efforts, including the distribution of relief goods and rescue operations.” (with details from Rosalie Coz and Davao Correspondent Janice Ingente) /mbmf

Magnitude 5.4 quake rattles Davao Occidental

Robie de Guzman   •   February 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A magnitude 5.4 earthquake rattled parts of Davao Occidental on Thursday afternoon, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported.

In its bulletin, Phivolcs said the epicenter of the quake that struck around 5:54 p.m. was traced 35 kilometers southeast of Jose Abad Santos in Davao Occidental.

It had a depth of 190 kilometers and tectonic in origin.

The tremor was felt at intensity III in General Santos City, Tupi and Polomolok in South Cotabato, and Alabel, Saranggani; intensity II in Maasin and Malapatan, Sarangani, and Davao City, while intensity I was felt in Tampakan, South Cotabato.

Phivolcs said there was no reported damage but aftershocks should be expected.

PH-US military drills within 180 days of VFA scrapping to push through — Lorenzana

Robie de Guzman   •   February 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The military exercises between the Philippines and the United States scheduled for the following months will still push through despite the Duterte government’s move to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Thursday.

In a statement, Lorenzana said the training between Filipino and American soldiers will still proceed as scheduled within the 180 days that the VFA remains in force.

“With the formal serving of the notice of termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement, this year’s planned military exercises with the Americans shall proceed as scheduled within the 180 days that the VFA remains in force,” he said.

The Defense chief, however, said American troops may opt to discontinue the exercises before the 180 days are up.

Once the VFA’s termination is final, Lorenzana said Filipino troops will stop conducting military drills with their American counterparts.

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday confirmed that they have received the notice of termination sent by the Philippine government. — RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

Novel coronavirus deaths spike to over 1,000 in China

Marje Pelayo   •   February 11, 2020

CHINA – The number of deaths from 2019 novel coronavirus has breached the 1,000 mark, according to the latest report from China Global Television Network (CGTN).

Earlier on Tuesday (February 11), Chinese health authorities reported an additional 108 deaths overnight, pushing the total number of fatalities in China to 1,016 while confirmed cases also spiked to 42,638.

Officials are expected to provide the exact count throughout the day.

Outside mainland China, there are more than 300 other confirmed cases with one confirmed death recorded in the Philippines and one in Hong Kong.

Over the weekend, 2019-nCoV surpassed the number of deaths by severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) which killed only 774 individuals during the 2003 outbreak that originated in southern China.

On Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited treatment facilities for nCoV patients in Beijing.

The Chinese leader also spoke to medical workers in Wuhan City, the epicenter of the virus, via video conferencing.

China’s state television CCTV said Xi emphasized resolutely winning the fight against novel coronavirus which he dubbed as the “people’s war.”

Meanwhile in Wuhan City, authorities are combing communities to locate every confirmed or suspected patient and bring them under proper treatment.

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