Fear of aftershocks, hunger stalk some Mindanao earthquake survivors

Dennis Datu and Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 01 2019 09:16 AM | Updated as of Nov 01 2019 11:02 AM

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MAKILALA, North Cotabato -- Marites Ayuba and her 3 children made do with boiled water for breakfast on Friday, relieved to have reached a shelter here after walking 6 hours by foot from their hillside home, which was destroyed by a powerful earthquake the day before.

The Ayuba family and their neighbors trekked overnight without a change of clothes after a landslide buried their houses in Barangay Lauyon, among many structures destroyed by the third strong temblor to hit Mindanao in 2 weeks.

The 3 earthquakes had a combined death toll of 23 with 2 others missing and 618 injured, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.

"Nagluto kami ng mainit na tubig para sa mga kasamahan namin, walang pagkain... Iyong bahay namin wala na, nabagsak na talaga sa lupa," Ayuba told ABS-CBN News.

(We boiled water for our companions, there's no food. Our house is gone, it was flattened to the ground.)

"Kaunti lang iyong tent namin, hindi kasya. May iba pang hindi nabigyan... Sana matulungan kami ni President Rodrigo Duterte," she said.

(The tents are not enough, some evacuees have none. We hope President Rodrigo Duterte will help us.)

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In Magsaysay, Davao Del Sur, where at least 5 people were killed, locals fearing aftershocks camped out in the streets, said Mayor Arthur Davin.

"Talagang nakakatakot na rin. Iyong mga tao namin, parang ayaw na talagang matulog sa bahay nila," he told DZMM.

(It's really terrifying. Our people refused to sleep in their houses.)

Since the first quake on Oct. 16, around 2,012 houses, several schools, and the municipal hall have been destroyed in Magsaysay, said Davin. Local authorities declared a state of calamity after the first quake to tap some P8.9 million in emergency funds, he said.

'KEEP CALM'

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As of 12 a.m., 319 aftershocks rocked Mindanao with magnitudes ranging from 1.5 to 4.4, said Phivolcs science research specialist Erlinton Olavere. The aftershocks may last until December, he said.

"Kailangan alerto po ang mga tao, 'wag magpa-panic. Then sa mga kabahayan o gusali na nakitaan na ng pagkasira o basag, siguro bago po muling gamitin ng mga tao ito, dapat ikonsulta muna po sa mga inhinyero kung ito po ay ligtas pang gamitin," Olavere advised the public.

(People need to be alert, don't panic. Houses or buildings with cracks or damage should be certified safe first by engineers before being used again.)

Davin, the Magsaysay mayor, said he was unsure how the town would mark All Saints' Day on Friday when millions of Catholics visit the graves of their loved ones.

"Pinaghandaan pa rin namin iyong Undas, pero hindi natin masabi, siyempre po, sa takot iyong mga nadisplace na bahay, ewan ko po kung anong mangyayari," the mayor said.

(We prepared for Undas, but we can't say how it would go. Those who were displaced from their homes are terrified, I don't know what will happen.)