DepEd to school heads: Check safety of school buildings after Luzon earthquake
MANILA, Philippines – After a magnitude 6.1 earthquake jolted Luzon on Monday, April 22, the Department of Education (DepEd) ordered all school heads to inspect the safety of school buildings before allowing people to head inside.
DepEd Undersecretary Alain Pascua relayed to all principals, school heads, and teachers-in-charge Education Secretary Leonor Briones’ orders in a memorandum signed Monday night.
“All...are hereby instructed to undertake thorough investigation of school buildings and facilities before allowing learners, teachers, and personnel to enter the same,” Pascua said.
He said engineers and disaster risk reduction officials should assist DepEd school officials within 250 kilometres of the earthquake’s epicenter in Castillejos, Zambales.
The order took effect 5 am on Tuesday, April 23.
“Only when the structural integrity and safety of buildings and facilities is assured can learners, teachers, and personnel be allowed to enter,” DepEd said.
The earthquake took place days after DepEd ended its school year 2018-2019 on April 5.
According to a DepEd situation report as of 11 am, Tueaday, there were 13 classrooms totally damaged. Meanwhile 28 others sustained major damage while 39 had minor damage.
In the wake of the earthquake, disaster risk reduction officials recorded 16 deaths so far in Pampanga and Zambales after buildings and homes were damaged.
Meanwhile, classes in different levels were suspended in several areas. Malacañang also suspended government work a day after the quake on Tuesday.
Past noon on Tuesday, April 23, a stronger earthquake – with a magnitude of 6.5 – struck parts of the Visayas. – Rappler.com