THE Philippine Red Cross (PRC) activated and deployed its Red Cross 143 (RC143) volunteers and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel to the Mindanao region after a 7.4-magnitude earthquake rattled Surigao Del Sur and neighboring provinces at 10:37 PM on Saturday, December 2.
Leading the PRC chapters is PRC Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon, who convened a meeting with the PRC core team immediately after the earthquake and stated: “PRC’s Emergency Response Unit (ERU), EMS personnel, volunteers, and staff are evaluating the situation in affected communities. With thousands of volunteers on the ground, we can immediately receive information about their situations, enabling us to immediately provide humanitarian aid to those who need it.”
PRC’s EMS personnel have provided pre-hospital treatment and transported affected individuals in Agusan Del Norte to hospitals, including a person with a head injury. Assets and rescue equipment are also deployed in Surigao Del Sur, Bukidnon, Surigao Del Norte, Davao Oriental, and Zamboanga Del Norte.
PRC chapters in the affected regions are currently coordinating with local government units, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), and Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officers (LDRRMOs) to assess where additional assistance is needed.
According to PRC’s Operations Center, the earthquake resulted in power outages in San Francisco and Prosperidad, Agusan Del Sur. A fire incident at SM Butuan damaged ceilings and walls, while Robinsons Butuan reported collapsed ceilings. The Bislig Bridge in Surigao Del Sur sustained cracks, while five residential houses in Gingoog, Misamis Oriental also incurred damages.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported that the earthquake’s depth of focus was 8 kilometers with epicenter at Hinatuan, Surigao Del Sur. Phivolcs, on early Sunday, lifted the tsunami warning that it had initially issued.