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Luzon quake death toll rises to 16

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The number of fatalities following the strong earthquake that hit parts of Luzon on Monday afternoon has climbed to 16, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported on Tuesday, April 23.

Most of the people killed in the 6.1 magnitude quake were from the province of Pampanga, which was heavily hit by the powerful temblor.

Of the 16 reported deaths, 12 were from Porac, two from Lubao and one from Angeles in Pampanga. One fatality was also reported in San Marcelino, Zambales.

The NDRRMC also said that 81 people were injured and 14 remain missing.

The agency, however, stressed that the mentioned figures are still subject to further validation by authorities.

The strong quake, the epicenter of which was located in Castillejos, Zambales, also damaged a total of 29 structures and buildings.

The NDRRMC said a blue alert status has been raised since Monday and regional disaster offices have been ordered to assess their respective areas of responsibility.

The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), for its part, has deployed a 12-man team to help in the ongoing search, rescue and retrieval operations in affected areas.

The Bureau of Fire Protection, on the other hand, sent 155 of its personnel, along with its rescue and fire trucks, and ambulance to Pampanga to assist in the rescue mission.

The NDRRMC said backhoes, jack hammers, hydraulics and cranes are now being used to fast track the operation.

The Department of Social Welfare and Develolment (DSWD), for its part, has prepositioned 305,830 family food packs, and other food and non-food items. A standby fund amounting to more than P1.3 billion was also allocated for other needs.

The Department of Energy (DOE) also reported that measures have already been taken to ensure safety in local fuel refinery units. Generator sets and floodlights were also dispatched for the ongoing operations in Porac, Pampanga.

“As per DOE, Petron Corporation conducted protective tripping of some units of its refinery,” NDRRMC said.

“Also per NGCP (National Grid Corporation of the Philippines), Meralco dispatched 2 canter vehicles and 4 generator sets with 8 floodlights to Porac, Pampanga,” it added.

The quake also damaged parts of the Clark International Airport, resulting in the airport’s closure since Monday night.

The operations of Metro Manila’s main rail services were also suspended on Monday but operations have resumed since Tuesday morning. — Robie de Guzman

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Death toll in Nepal floods rises to 55, thousands displaced

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, July 15th, 2019

The death toll in Nepal from flash floods and landslides rose to 55 on Sunday (July 14), with dozens missing and injured, the government said.

Ten thousand people have been displaced from their homes as incessant monsoon rains pounded many areas in mostly mountainous Nepal since Thursday (July 11), submerging large areas of land, inundating homes, and destroying bridges and roads across the country.

A Home Ministry statement said 55 people had been confirmed dead and 33 injured, with 30 still missing.

India’s north eastern state of Assam has also been hard hit by the floods brought by the monsoon, with at least 1.5 million people displaced and 10 dead.

In the Chittagong division of Bangladesh there have been 10 deaths and about 500,000 displaced, with 200 villages flooded.

Officials said in some areas rains had eased but rivers in the eastern part of the country were still above flood level.

The Kosi River, which flows into the eastern Indian state of Bihar, was among those that had risen above the flood level.

The Kosi has been a serious concern for both India and Nepal since it broke its banks in 2008 and changed course, submerging large areas of land and affecting more than 2 million people in India’s Bihar state. (REUTERS)

(Production: Emily Cooper)

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5.5 magnitude quake jolts Surigao del Sur

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Saturday, July 13th, 2019

A magnitude 5.5 earthquake jolted Surigao del Sur and its neighboring provinces early morning Saturday, July 13.

According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), the earthquake, recorded at 4:42 a.m., was tectonic in origin and had a depth of 5 kilometers.

The epicenter was located at 8 kilometers Northwest of Cortes town.

Intensity IV was recorded in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental;
Intensity II in Cebu City and Borongan City; and Intensity I – Bislig City and Cagayan de Oro City.

Authorities are still searching thru the affected areas to estimate the total damage and casualties brought by the quake.

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Californians remain alert for earthquakes after two major ones in two days

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Courtesy: Reuters

Californians near the epicenter of Friday night’s 7.1-magnitude earthquake are staying cautious about more quakes as aftershocks continued in the following two days.

Friday’s earthquake was the largest to occur in California in nearly 20 years. This comes as the golden state had seen a 6.4-magnitude one on Thursday.

At the epicenter of the 7.1-magnitude earthquake — Searles Valley, cracks can be seen on surface of freeways. Underground water pipes were also damaged. In Trona, a nearby town with a population of 2,000 to 3,000, houses and buildings were damaged on different level.

The earthquake caused power outages and water cuts, which were still not fully recovered in some places after two days.

An earthquake shelter was established in the city of Ridgecrest 40 kilometers from Trona following the first earthquake.

Although Californians are no strangers to earthquakes, many are still anxious over the two strong shakes and choose to sleep in the shelter or inside their own vehicles at night.

“So this shelter has been set up by the America Red Cross of our partners that are helping us out here. It’s a evacuation shelter for individuals who have been displaced related to the earthquake that happened here in this area. We are providing food, shelter and information assistance and whatever we can provide for the community to help them to get through the current situation,” said Roy Vargas, leader of the shelter.

Vargas said although people are stressed, they are happy because the situation is getting better.

“Well, I think the general mood, of course, everyone is stressed, because of the situation that have happened. But overall, I think people are about is joy; they are happy because they are working towards getting better,” said Vargas.

Local police department warned residents to stay vigilant and advised every household to store three days of rations and batteries for flashlights in case of more severe quakes and relief supplies may take time to arrive. (REUTERS)

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