The National Telecommunications Commission directed telecommunication entities to fast track the repair and restoration of services in areas severely affected by the magnitude 7.0 earthquake in Abra on Wednesday morning.
NTC Commissioner Gamaliel A. Cordoba also instructed public telcos to ensure that there are sufficient number of technical and support personnel and standby generators with extra fuel, tools and spare equipment in the affected areas to as to keep telecommunications services available to the people.
At least 15 provinces, 15 cities, 218 municipalities and 6,756 villages were affected by the earthquake, all of which sustained damage to public and private structures, power lines, walls and bridges.
“The Commission will expect status updates of the ongoing restoration activities being performed on your network and facilities and a timeline for the full restoration of service,” said Cordoba, who had earlier also ordered the telecommunication entities to provide “Libreng Tawag and Libreng Charging Stations” in the said areas.
The NTC directive also reminded the concerned parties to observe strict health protocols to avoid the transmission of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
State seismologists said the earthquake, classified as major, was caused by the movement of the Abra River Fault and was measured at a magnitude of 7.0 by the Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
As of 7 a.m. Thursday morning, the number of aftershocks reached 808, 126 of which were plotted, while 24 were recorded.
At least five persons died and 60 others were injured.