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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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No Filipinos hurt in Papua New Guinea quake—DFA

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

Courtesy: USGS

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has reported that no Filipinos were hurt during the magnitude 7.2 earthquake in Papua New Guinea on Tuesday (May 7).

There are approximately 36,000 Filipinos living in Papua New Guinea.

According to the Philippine Embassy in Port Moresby Chargé d’Affaires Mary Grace Villamayor, they are currently coordinating with the Filipino community in the affected cities of Lae and Kokopo.

“The Embassy continuously monitors the situation and stands ready to provide the necessary assistance,” The DFA statement said.

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Comelec prepares contingency plan in case of earthquake during elections

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

FILE: PNP National Headquarters participated in the 1st Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) on April 21, 2016. Response and Rescue operations were also done during the activity. (Photo: PNP FB Page)

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has laid out a contingency plan in case of an earthquake or any emergency during the election day on May 13.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is tasked to make sure that no voters will be left inside the polling precinct in case of an earthquake; while the Board of Election Inspectors are tasked to secure the Vote Counting Machines (VCM) and ballots inside it.

“Ultimately the most important consideration here is the safety of the voting public. And we want to make sure that if there are voting precincts operating in those areas, that they should be safe and that they have not been damaged either by the primary quake or the aftershocks,” Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said.

He added, “If the VCMs cannot be taken out or the VCMs cannot be protected, then the school is locked down.”

The police is also under the instruction to secure the polling place.

READ: Earthquake and other calamities might cause failure of elections—Comelec

For emergency cases like earthquakes and other calamities, Comelec will have to declare a failure of elections. However, this will depend on the severity of its effect in the country.

Meanwhile, Comelec has warned the public not to easily believe posts online such as the viral video that showed pre-shaded ballots.

Jimenez clarified that these ballots are fake, and he refuted the claim of the video uploader that the VCM will read votes detected by UV light.

“Iyong idea na mababasa ng makina iyong UV mark doon sa bilog sa tabi ng pangalan is wrong. Iyong ating scanner ay nagbabasa ng visible marks. Kailangan niyang makita iyong marka. Ang UV mark ay invisible. The fact that some names were supposedly had pre- shaded, pre- shading. Obviously political agenda ang nasa ilalim nito, (The idea that the machine will read UV marks in the circle is wrong. Our scanner reads visible marks. It needs to see the mark. UV marks are invisible. Obviously there is a political agenda under it),” he said.(with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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NGCP: Luzon grid on yellow alert for 3 hours

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, May 6th, 2019

Courtesy : Pixabay

MANILA, Philippines – The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) on Monday (May 6) placed the Luzon grid on yellow alert for three hours.

In an advisory posted on its social media accounts, the NGCP said the yellow alert notice would be raised from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  

“Details on the cause to be announced by the Department of Energy (DOE) later in the day,” the agency added.

The NGCP issues a yellow alert notice on Luzon grid when power reserves are lower than the power supply demand.

The grid’s available capacity is 11,814 megawatts (MW) while peak demand is at 10,865MW.

Meanwhile, the NGCP assured that its power transmission services are still normal despite the magnitude 5.4 quake that jolted parts of Ilocos Norte on Monday (May 6) morning.

READ: Magnitude 5.4 quake jolts parts of Ilocos Norte

“Power transmission services of NGCP remain normal despite the 5.4 magnitude earthquake which occurred in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte at 10:48AM, today, 6 May 2019,” the agency said.

Power transmission services of NGCP remain normal despite the 5.4 magnitude earthquake which occurred in Pagudpud,…

Posted by National Grid Corporation of the Philippines on Sunday, 5 May 2019

No damage in power facilities and power interruptions were reported in Ilocos Norte and neighboring areas following the temblor.

“The Luzon grid remains intact as there are no reports of power interruptions and damaged transmission facilities in Ilocos Norte and nearby areas where the earthquake was felt,” it added.

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