BATANGAS, Philippines – Irene de Austria, a mother of 3 from Tingloy town, is still terrified as she recalls the earthquake swarm that hit Batangas on Saturday, April 8.
“I looked for my 3 children. We evacuated together. This was a first. I didn’t expect it to happen in my lifetime. It felt like we were being rocked and then dropped suddenly. It was strong,” she said.
The series of earthquakes hit Batangas province damaged infrastructure and houses.
“It’s my sister’s house. We live with her. Now we can’t live in it. There are cracks on the walls of the house. We could no longer sleep there. We’re temporarilly staying with our neighbor,” she said.
Tingloy has the highest number of families affected by the earthquake swarm with at least 3,300 families.
“They have many needs like food and water. It takes time before we receive relief goods because we’re a remote coastal town,” Austria noted.
On Wednesday, April 12, Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo flies to the remote island. She says help is on the way even during the Holy Week.
“What help can we give? Urgent needs. These are relief goods or tents. We also have the list of damaged houses. We will provide what we call emergency shelter assistance. We also have a food-for-work or food-for-cash program which can help early recovery efforts,” Taguiwalo told Tingloy residents in a town meeting.
On Maunday Thursday, Tingloy residents are not worrying about their supper. More boxes of food packs, bottled water, and other relief goods start to pour in. – Rappler.com
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