Benhur Abalos

Abalos hails CAR local execs for quick quake response

October 29, 2022 Joel dela Torre 290 views

THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has recognized the 282 local chief executives (LCEs) in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) for their quick response following a magnitude 6.4 earthquake that hit their respective areas.

Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. commended the LCEs, especially in Regions 1 and 2, for their preparedness and immediate execution of urgent measures that ensured the safety of their jurisdiction leading to zero casualties.

Reports from the DILG regional offices also said that 182 individuals were immediately evacuated to safer grounds.

LCEs, according to Abalos, are very critical in any disaster, especially earthquakes and areas closer to the epicenter.

Their presence and quick decision-making are very important during crucial times.

“We thank the 282 LCEs from CAR, Regions 1 and 2, for manning their areas of jurisdictions during this recent earthquake in Abra. Your urgent actions made all the difference in saving people’s lives. Hindi natin alam kung kailan magkakalindol but your leadership has really carried us through,” the DILG chief said.

Based on the data gathered by the DILG field offices, the DILG Secretary said 74 of 77 LCEs in CAR were manning their posts and were on top of the earthquake response efforts, while 125 of 128 LCEs from Region 1 and 85 out of 93 from Region 2 were likewise reported to be pressed at work during and after the quake.

Not only that, but these LCEs were also on top of the situation, especially in the conduct of evacuation in affected communities and the provision of relief goods to the internally displaced persons (IDPs).

They were there during the ongoing conduct of rapid damage assessment and the deployment of all heavy equipment and rescue equipment/resources in strategic areas.

Reports said that LCEs likewise convened their respective Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (LDRRMCs) and conducted Emergency Response Meetings to activate all concerned Barangay DRRMCs for close coordination, prepositioned necessary supplies, and prepared evacuation centers.

According to the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (DOST-Phivolcs) earthquake advisory, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake of tectonic origin occurred with its epicenter located five km Northeast of Lagayan, Abra, at a depth of 13 kilometers at 10:59 p.m. on October 25, 2022.

Abalos said that 52 families or 182 individuals were evacuated in CAR with reports of 442 partially damaged houses and 14 totally damaged houses, and one impassable road. He added that 47 individuals were injured due to the said earthquake.

“Our LCEs are continuously working the rounds to evaluate and extend the needed assistance especially in hardly hit areas. Patuloy din po ang mga hakbangin ng pamahalaan sa pagtulong sa ating mga kababayan sa Norte,” he said.

Last July 27, Abra was likewise hit by a powerful earthquake which resulted in 498 houses in the province being declared as totally damaged while there are 26,350 with partial damage.