By Antonio Colina IV
DAVAO CITY – Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) reported a total of 2,722 families or 13,600 individuals displaced in the Davao Region due to the three powerful earthquakes that struck parts of Mindanao in two weeks’ time last month.
Manuel Luis M. Ochotorena, RDDRMC chair who is also regional director of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD)-Davao, told reporters on Monday that three assessment teams have been dispatched to severely affected municipalities in Davao del Sur to determine the damages caused on properties and livelihood, the economic losses, and needs of the people. The teams are expected to complete the report in a week.
“Part of the assessment is to find out the status of the houses because National Housing Authority wanted to get specific data because it wants to provide assistance,” he said.
As of Monday, the official said the 2,717 families or 13,575 individuals were displaced came from Bansalan, Matanao, Kiblawan, Padada, and Magsaysay municipalities in Davao del Sur, and five families or 25 individuals from Malita and Sta. Maria municipalities in Davao Occidental.
He said many of the displaced families are in evacuation centers while others opted to stay in makeshift shelters either outside their homes or designated areas for the evacuees, as some of the evacuation facilities also sustained damage from to the powerful tremors.
Last October 31, a magnitude-6.5 earthquake jolted parts of Mindanao or just two days after a strong magnitude 6.6 earthquake occurred. Last October 16, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake also shook Mindanao.
“The people are now in evacuation centers but others stay outside the evacuation centers as some of them are structurally compromised, so they outside with their tents,” he added.
Ochotorena added there were also 1,195 families or 4,784 individuals preemptively evacuated from Magsaysay and Kibalawan towns in Davao del Sur.
He said the local government units prevented residents of Barangays Malawanit and Upper Bala of Davao del Sur from returning to their homes, as those areas had been declared unsafe for habitation due to the threat of landslide.