By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
As it continues to monitor the divisions and schools affected by the 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck Itbayat, Batanes, the Department of Education (DepEd) enjoined stakeholders to help the agency to ensure that the learners are able to continue with their education.
Citing initial reports from its Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service (DRRMS), DepEd said that as of July 30, a total of 10 schools and 29 personnel and learners were affected by the 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck Itbayat, Batanes last July 27.
DepEd data showed that in Itbayat National Agricultural High School, there were two (2) casualties – one injured personnel and 11 injured learners. In terms of infrastructure, a total of three of buildings of the schools were categorized as “severely damaged.”
Likewise, there were nine (9) learners of Itbayat Central School were reported to be injured. It was also reported that one (1) Gabaldon building and other infrastructure were “severely damaged.”
In Mayan Elementary School, DepEd said that four (4) were injured – two (2) personnel and two (2) learners. In terms of infrastructure, DepEd-DRRMS said that one (1) of its six buildings was “totally damaged” while two others were “severely damaged.”
Meanwhile, one (1) learner of Yawran Barrio School and one (1) personnel of Raele Integrated School were also reported injured. In Raele IS, one (1) classroom has been “declared unsafe for occupancy” following the quake.
DepEd-DRRMS also reported that “cracks were observed” in the Gabaldon buildings of Ivana Elementary School, Chanarian Elementary School, Batanes National Science High School, Basco Central School, and Uyugan Elementary School. Gabaldon School Buildings are heritage school buildings in the Philippines built during the American colonial era.
DepEd said that the Department has ordered the “continuous monitoring” of divisions and schools affected by the earthquake for infrastructure damage, casualties, and other impacts.
Soon after the quake, DepEd has already likewise mobilized efforts to rehabilitate the affected schools and to extend the necessary assistance to the families of casualties and injured learners and personnel.
Meanwhile, DepEd also issued an appeal to stakeholders to help the department in ensuring that the learners are able to “continue with their education in the face of this challenge.”