The southern part of the Philippines is facing a tough situation as aftershocks, following a strong magnitude 7.4 earthquake that claimed three lives, force thousands to find shelter in evacuation centers. On Monday, disaster officials shared that an additional quake has added to the challenges posed by the initial seismic event on Saturday.
Surigao del Sur, the province closest to the earthquake’s center, is still experiencing tremors, making residents extremely anxious. Alex Arana, the disaster agency chief of Surigao del Sur, expressed ongoing fears, saying,
“We are scared up to now because of the aftershocks,” during an interview with DZBB radio station.
The aftermath is marked by tragedy, with two fatalities in Surigao del Sur due to falling debris and a collapsed wall. In Tagum City, Davao del Norte province, a pregnant woman lost her life as a wall collapsed on her and her family during their evacuation.
According to late Sunday’s government data, over 108,000 people in Surigao del Sur are seeking refuge in 115 evacuation centers, with aftershocks continuing. Authorities are working non-stop to provide immediate assistance to those affected, recognizing the urgency of the situation.
Adding to the region’s challenges, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck Mindanao early on Monday, as reported by the Philippine seismology agency. Despite happening separately from the initial magnitude 7.4 quake and the subsequent 1,700 aftershocks, this new tremor has only heightened anxiety among the already traumatized residents.
Susan Clor, a resident of Hinatuan town in Surigao del Sur, shared her experience, saying,
“We get dizzy from tremors every so often. We choose to stay here at the evacuation center for now,” in an interview with GMA television station.
Her sentiments reflect the collective unease compelling residents to remain in the safety of evacuation centers. Rescue and relief efforts are in full swing, with emergency services working diligently to assess the extent of the damage and provide essential aid. The government has mobilized resources to ensure the timely delivery of food, water, and medical supplies to those affected.
These seismic events in the Philippines are a stark reminder of the region’s vulnerability to natural disasters. As affected communities grapple with the immediate aftermath and the persistent threat of aftershocks, the nation is coming together to support its citizens during this challenging time. Authorities urge residents to stay vigilant, follow safety protocols, and cooperate with evacuation efforts to minimize further risks.
The international community closely monitors the situation, with neighboring nations extending offers of assistance to aid in the recovery process. As the Philippines confronts this dual earthquake crisis, solidarity and swift action are crucial to rebuilding lives and restoring a sense of normalcy for the affected population.
In times like these, it’s important for everyone, regardless of location, to understand the gravity of such natural disasters and offer support where possible. The aftermath requires not just immediate relief but sustained efforts to help the affected communities rebuild and recover.
Despite facing two earthquakes, the Filipino people show their strength by coming together to deal with the aftermath. The help from nearby and faraway places highlights how important it is to stay united during tough times.
As the affected areas work through the challenges of what happened and the ongoing aftershocks, the combined actions of leaders and people around the world are vital in helping the Philippines recover and bringing back a sense of hope to its people.