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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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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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Taiwan extends visa-free privileges for Filipinos to July 2020

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Filipinos who wish to travel to Taiwan may still enjoy its visa-free program until next year.

On Tuesday (July 2), Taiwan announced its extension of visa-free privileges for citizens of four countries – the Philippines, Thailand, Brunei and Russia.

In a press release, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said the visa-free trial which started in July 2018 showed significant growth in the number of tourist arrivals from the said countries.

Thus, the decision was reached during a cross-ministerial meeting of concerned government units who unanimously agreed to extend the program to another year or to July 31, 2020.

According to the Tourism Bureau, the visa-free program yielded a total of 2.6 million visits to the country in 2018 from nationals of 18 New Southbound Policy partner nations, most of which are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) including Thailand, Brunei and the Philippines.

Under the program, foreign nationals from the said countries need not secure a visa prior to their entry to Taiwan and may enjoy their visit for stays of up to 14 days.

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