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CEZA, OPANL launch ‘Operation Bangon Batanes’

By: Freddie Lazaro

STA. ANA, Cagayan – The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) and the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Northern Luzon (OPANL), both under the Office of the President (OP), launched “Operation Bangon Batanes” for the continuing post-earthquake relief efforts to assist the quake victims in Itbayat, Batanes.

A staff member of Secretary Raul L Lambino of CEZA and Office of Presidential Adviser for Northern Luzon initially delivered assorted goods for Operation #Bangon Batanes via C130 at Tuguegarao airport in coordination with General Balao of Office of Civil Defense. (RENZ UMAYAM / MANILA BULLETIN)

“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 Presidential Adviser for Northern Luzon, said relief supplies were already available for victims of the twin moderately earthquakes occurred on Saturday, and these were now on their 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 Itbayat once they get there.

“CEZA/OPANL will accept donations of any kind at the 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,” Lambino wrote on his Facebook wall.

On Monday, CEZA/OPANL readied for distribution to affected families in Itbayat town 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.

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

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

On Saturday morning at 4:16 a.m., the first earthquake struck the populated island of Batanes, in the Northern Philippines, with intensity-6 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 7:24 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 (PHILVOCS).

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


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