Disaster officials said Thursday they will need at least P4 billion to rehabilitate and rebuild areas damaged by a series of strong earthquakes in Mindanao.
READ: Quakes shift local units’ focus to disaster response
In a press conference, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Executive Director Ricardo Jalad, said the amount, proposed during a Cabinet meeting Wednesday night, would include some rehabilitation and reconstruction projects.
Jalad said the exact amount needed would be available after the council finishes its post-disaster assessment.
Mindanao was rocked by a magnitude-6.3 earthquake on Oct. 16
, a magnitude-6.6 tremblor on Oct. 29
, and a 6.5 quake on Oct. 31
READ: 6 killed in 6.6 quake
The number of families affected by the magnitude 6.6 and 6.5 earthquakes that hit Mindanao last Oct. 29 and 31 has climbed to 50,930, the NDRRMC said Thursday.
In its 6 a.m. update signed and released by Jalad, the agency said this is equivalent to 254,473 persons in Davao and SOCCSKSARGEN regions.
About 8,265 families or 39,128 people are being sheltered in 47 evacuation centers while 8,789 families or around 43,945 individuals are being aided outside.
The number of fatalities stands at 21, with wounded at 417 and two missing in Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, and SOCCSKSARGEN and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The quakes also damaged some 36,000 structures in the Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, SOCCSKSARGEN and the BARMM.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, Office of Civil Defense has so far provided P44 million worth of assistance to the affected families.
The Palace on Thursday said it hopes to provide housing, livelihood and loan assistance to quake victims in Mindanao.
During the 43rd Cabinet meeting, Defense officials recommended the construction of permanent housing, repair, and reconstruction of damaged schools; provision of livelihood and training assistance to families; and provision of loan assistance, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
READ: Quake forces 1.9-million students to skip classes
The meeting also discussed how to sustain relief operations, improve facilities used as evacuation centers, and build temporary shelters.
Some local governments have declared a state of calamity to tap emergency funds.
State seismologists earlier warned that aftershocks may continue to rattle Mindanao until December.
Also on Thursday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the magnitude-5.5 earthquake that jolted the island town of Jomalig in Quezon early Thursday is not in any way related to the series of temblors that rocked Mindanao.
“They [the quakes] are not related. The earthquake near Jomalig, Quezon early this morning is too far to be triggered by the movement of the fault in Mindanao,” Phivolcs director Renato Solidum said in a radio interview, speaking in Filpino.
Solidum added that PHIVOLCS has recorded more than seven slight aftershocks located near the tectonic quake’s epicenter, which was 42 kilometers northeast of Jomalig, Quezon.
While the tremors were felt in parts of Metro Manila, Camarines Norte, Pampanga, and other nearby provinces, PHIVOLCS said there were no reports of damage so far.
Solidum also clarified that the Jomalig tremor is not related to the West Valley Fault and advised the public not to believe or spread fake news on the earthquake.
He also reminded the public to be aware of and be prepared for all earthquake hazards such as tsunamis.
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