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Tremor rattles Surigao City

Thousands flood and landslide victims went into panic when a 4.6 magnitude earthquake struck Dinagat Island province and this southern tip city of Northeastern Mindanao this afternoon.

The intensity 2 earthquake with a magnitude of 4.6 was recorded at 3:12 p.m. on Dinagat Islands province and Surigao City, the Philippine Institute ofVolcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.

Phivolcs officials here said the quake was caused by a movement in the Philippine trench.

No aftershocks were recorded and no casualty was reported as of press time.

However, the earthquake rattled thousands of evacuees currently sheltered at various evacuation centers here and in Dinagat Islands province and nearby neighboring Surigao del Sur province, it was learned.

They went into panic and most of them run away towards the road, it was gathered.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is set to visit in this part of Mindanao tomorrow (Jan. 21) to led the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC) meeting at Surigao City Cultural Center here.

Chief Supt. Jaime E. Milla, regional director of Police Regional Office 13 (PRO 13) and chairperson of RDCC will brief the President about the flood and landslide situation that hit several areas in the region since the rains started last January 10, this year.

The Chief Executive will also assess the strength of damage brought about by the 8-day flash floods in the region.

Mrs. Arroyo also expected to visit Tubajon town, in Dinagat Islands province to personally led the distribution of relief goods and food packs to flood victims, officials of that province said.

She will also personally look the damage of seawalls and other infrastructures in the area, they added.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has already released some Php 10.87 million in standby funds and relief goods to provinces and cities hit by flash floods and landslides in Mindanao, it was learned.

On the other hand, the United Nation’s World Food Program has also pledge to provide more than 630 metric tons of rice for the flood victims in Mindanao, that can serve to at least 25,000 families, it was also learned.

The National Food Authority (NFA) in the region have already released several thousands of sacks of rice to various local government units and disaster units in the region for the distribution to flood victims.

The Philsaga Mining Corporation in Bayugan lll, Rosario town, Agusan del Sur personally led by its president Retired Army Colonel Samuel G. Afdal alreadyhanded a Php50,000 cash to Philippine Red Cross while also distributed 100 sacks of rice to Bunawan and 50 sacks of rice and 20 boxes of sardines to Rosario and Bunawan flood victims, all of Agusan del Sur province, it was also learned.

Meanwhile, the strength of damage brought about by flash floods to infrastructure now rose to Php 63, 349, 490 while close to Php 20 million in agriculture throughout the region.

Reports coming from the regional operation centers of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and RDCC stated that about 270, 810 persons were affected by the flash floods and landslides.

To date, at least 10 persons were reported killed while 1 is still missing and under search and rescue operation by the different rescue teams caused by flash flood and landslides.

At least 594 houses were reported destroyed, 109 of them totally wiped out.

In a related development, 2 more bodies were recovered in Mambajao onCamiguin province and another in Jasaan town, Misamis Oriental, raising the number of fatalities to 12 in Northern Mindanao (Region 10) flash floods and landslides. (Mike U. Crismundo/MB)

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