Ilocos Norte BFP, hospital personnel deployed to help Abra

AMBULANCES from the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center in Batac City, Ilocos Norte loaded with medical supplies await deployment to earthquake-hit Abra, Thursday, July 28. (MMMHMC FB photo)
LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte (PNA) – Some 100 personnel of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) capable of special rescue operations and providing emergency medical services, as well as from the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center in Batac City, were deployed to Abra to assist victims of the magnitude-7 earthquake.

Dr. Maria Lourdes Otayza, medical center chief of the Batac hospital, confirmed this Thursday, July 28, as they are currently forming more batches of teams to be deployed in the hard-hit areas in the next few days.

She said the first batch of the medical team is composed of doctors, nurses, medical technologists, pharmacists, cook, and paramedics and were sent Thursday.

"The team brought two advanced life support ambulances, medicines, vitamins and health supplements, medical supplies, and a portable X-ray machine,” she said.

Acting provincial fire director Roxanne Parado said Thursday BFP personnel from various parts of Ilocos Norte are already in Abra helping in the quick response operation to aid victims. Additional augmentation teams are also preparing in the province.

Abra resident Argie Lorenzo said Thursday he remains sleepless and is constantly trembling due to the series of aftershocks that continue to happen.

“Most of us stayed outside our houses all night for fear of another aftershock,” he said, saying that electricity is not yet restored and there is a shortage of water supply in the area.

According to Abra Vice Gov. Joy Bernos, the Abra provincial hospital remains closed as there were portions of the building, including the outpatient department, that were destroyed.

Bernos said patients were temporarily moved out and those who were confined were transferred to nearby district hospitals while those with severe cases were referred to the La Union Regional Hospital in San Fernando City, La Union.

To personally assess the situation in earthquake-hit Northern Luzon, President Ferdinand “Bongbong" Marcos Jr., along with Secretary Benjamin Abalos of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and other Cabinet members, arrived in Bangued, Abra Thursday as he assured the government is doing its best to respond as quickly as possible.

To date, the Abra-Ilocos Norte national road is closed again due to falling rocks caused by an aftershock early Thursday.

To reach the seven isolated towns in Abra and other provinces affected by earthquake, at least two choppers are on standby for the transport of food packs and distribution of cash assistance to the victims.

During the briefing, the President reiterated to the national government agencies to coordinate closely with the local government units to maximize government assets and reach out to those who need help most.

He, likewise, instructed the engineering department to prioritize fixing hospitals damaged by the earthquakes.