At least 17 dead in Cotabato earthquakes

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – At least 17 people were killed following the strong earthquakes that struck Cotabato and other parts of Mindanao in the last few days of October, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said in its latest report on Saturday morning, November 2. (FAST FACTS: The destructive earthquakes that hit MIndanao)

The NDRRMC said in a situation report that  based on its latest data, the most number of people – 11 – were killed in Cotabato, which was hardest hit by the magnitude 6.6 earthquake on October 29 and magnitude 6.5 earthquake on October 31.

A total of 3 people were killed in Davao del Sur, two in South Cotabato, and one in Sultan Kudarat.

Of the 327 injured in the earthquakes, 253 were from Cotabato and 40 from South Cotabato. 

Other areas where injured people were reported are the following:

The NDRRMC also said two people in Davao del Sur remained missing since the October 29 tremor.

Displaced, damage to infrastructure

The NDRRMC said 29,349 families or 146,745 people were affected by the two earthquakes in Soccsksargen and Davao regions. (READ: 'We were screaming. Everyone was crying': Tulunan esidents recall earthquake)

Of this number, 4,127 families or 20,635 people were being served in 27 evacuation centers, and 1,370 families or 6,850 people outside the evacuation sites.

The NDRMMC said so far, the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Office of Civil Defense in Region 11 had provided P15,200,373 worth of assistance to affected families.

The total number of damaged infrastructure soared to 28,222, from the previous 3,365 reported on Friday night, November 1. (LOOK: Davao condo damaged by strong earthquake)

Of this number, 20,921 are totally damaged houses and 6,249 partially damaged homes. Four public structures and one commercial establishment were also totally damaged, while 16 roads and bridges were partially damaged.

Cotabato and parts of Mindanao experienced 3 strong earthquakes in a span of two weeks in October, starting with the magnitude 6.3 tremor on October 16, with Tulunan, Cotabato, as the epicenter. The two other strong earthquakes hit the same areas.

Malacañang assigned Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who is also martial law administrator in Mindanao, to lead the relief efforts, and to ensure public safety and security in the earthquake stricken areas of Mindanao.

"The public is advised to coordinate directly with the DND and/or National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to ensure the efficient conduct of relief efforts, including the distribution of relief goods and rescue operations," said Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

Meanwhile, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian urged the Department of Education and the Department of Budget and Management to agree on a supplemental Quick Response Fund (QRF) “which can be sourced from the rest of this year’s National Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Program’s P20 billion allocation.”

Gatchalian made the proposal as he noted a DepEd statement that it had used up its P2-billion QRF. – Rappler.com