CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The town of Wao in Lanao del Sur was placed under a state of calamity on Tuesday, April 18, a week after a magnitude 6 earthquake struck Mindanao.
The quake struck at 5:21 am local time on April 12, with its epicenter located around 6 kilometers southwest of Wao, Lanao del Sur, at a depth of 1 kilometer, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.
It was followed by hundreds of aftershocks that ranged between magnitudes 2 to 5.5, causing damage to the towns of Kalilangan in Bukidnon, and Amay Manabilang and Wao in Lanao del Sur.
The Wao municipal council placed the town under a state of calamity after the quake affected 14 barangays, displaced at least 1,000 families, and caused damage amounting to P25 million.
The quake also destroyed 45 houses, and partially damaged 607 houses, 7 churches, 11 schools, 9 mosques, 11 barangay buildings, two 3-storey commercial complex and 2 highways.
When an area is placed under a state of calamity, the local government will have access to disaster and emergency funds to help them respond to the needs of victims in the area.
The prices of basic commodities will also be controlled for 60 days until the declaration is lifted. Emergency workers will get extra pay, and no-interest loans may be extended by the government to those most in need.
Lanao del Sur Information Officer Salma Jayne Tamano said that the provincial social welfare department initially distributed 2,000 food packs to Wao and Amay Manabilang towns and will distribute 1,000 more food packs on Wednesday.
The provincial government of Lanao del Sur will also distribute 215 boxes of purified drinking water.
The Office of Civil Defense-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, led by Officer-in-Charge Myrnay Angot, also distributed 2 truckloads of non-food items for affected residents.
“We will continue our relief operations until there is need [for it], and people can get back on their feet,” Tamano said. – Rappler.com
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