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CEZA, OP North Luzon sends relief supplies, teams to aid Batanes

By: Brenda Jocson

The Presidential Adviser for Northern Luzon (OPANL) and the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, both under the Office of the President, quickly responded to the needs of families affected by a pair of moderately strong earthquakes that hit the Itbayat town in Batanes on Saturday morning, leaving eight dead and injuring 100 residents.

RELIEF GOODS. Provincial Mobile Force Platoon in Action to deliver relief goods for Itbayat natives in Batanes after the 5.4 magnitude earthquake  struck Itbayat, Batanes. Batanes PPO Photo

“It is unfortunate and saddening to learn that numerous lives were lost, hundreds are wounded and thousands are rendered homeless,” Secretary Raul L. Lambino, administrator and CEO of CEZA said.

Lambino, who is also the president of the OPANL, said relief supplies are already available for victims of the twin earthquakes and now on its way to Itbayat, the hardest-hit town.

The secretary instructed the CEZA team led by Leonardo C. Cruz, Officer-in-Chief for Cagayan offices to immediately attend to the needs of the affected victims in Itbaya once they get there.

At least 1,500 gallons of mineral water, 3,000 packs of relief goods containing 3 kilos of rice, 3 sardines, 2 cans of pork ‘n beans, 3 cans of ham loaf, 1 dozen of 3-in-1 coffee, 6 pieces of noodles, 2 (500ml) mineral water are ready to be distributed to affected families in Itbayat.

On top of  that, the CEZA medical team based in Cagayan is also on its way, to be placed on standby, in case other victims need to be treated.

Lambino likewise urged local government units, particularly in Northern Luzon and everyone who are willing to help to extend any form of assistance for the rescue, evacuation and relief to the affected families in Batanes.

He is also closely coordinating the continuing post-earthquake relief effort.

“OPANL/CEZA will accept donations of any kind in Operation Bangon Batanes Relief Center in CEZA Office in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, or in CEZA Office in Greenfield Tower, Mayflower St. corner Williams St., Greenfield District, Mandaluyong City, or contact Mr. Leonardo Cruz +63 917 817 4302,” Lambino wrote on his Facebook wall.

On Saturday morning at 4:16 am, the first earthquake struck the populated island of Batanes, in the Northern Philippines, with intensity VI felt in Itbayat, while intensity 3 was felt in Basco and Sabtang.

Itbayat, a coastal community north of Basco, has a population of 2,867, while the entire province has 17,246.

Another magnitude 5.9 tremor, was recorded southeast of Basco, Batanes Saturday morning at 9:24 a.m.

The aftershocks were recorded following the powerful 5.9 earthquake that earlier struck Itbayat town, according to the Philippine Institute Volcanology and Seismology.

The tremor left the Itbayat Church, ancestral homes, and heritage structures severely damaged.


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