The killer quake that hit Bohol and Cebu at 8am last October 15 was said to be one of the strongest to have hit the country in the 21st century. Total number of fatalities as of October 18 have reached 171, with 20 more still missing. Majority of the deaths were recorded in Bohol, where the epicenter was located a few kilometers southwest of the town of Sagbayan. Around 3 million people were affected by the quake, with damages to roads, bridges and other infrastructures estimated at close to P600M in Bohol alone.
What makes the tragedy alarming is that the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) believes that the magnitude 7.2 earthquake may have been caused by a new or previously undiscovered fault line transecting Bohol running ENE-WSW parallel to the island’s northwest coast. That said, a fault line running through Bohol would necessitate stronger action to make the province more resilient to such danger.
Are we really ready for an earthquake of this magnitude? Whether you’re staying in a high-rise condo in Manila, or a two-story apartment in Cebu City, or a cool cabana in a beachfront in Bohol, the Global Disaster Watch warns that the Bohol quake is just a portent of things to come. This therefore goes with an appeal for you to recheck your preparations, not just for the regular typhoons and floods that come our way, but for other possible scenarios such as tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, which cannot be predicted ahead of time. The way our global environmental conditions are behaving, better preparation is the wise and prudent thing to do.
Meanwhile, the provincial government led by Governor Edgar Chatto scrambled to provide relief for those affected by the quake. DSWD has likewise released funds to support the displaced families. The PNP and the AFP were the first responders, ensuring public safety and order were maintained. The MMDA and the Bicol Disaster teams flew in immediately. Other non-government organizations such as the Red Cross, the ABS-CBN and GMA Foundations and the MVP Group of Companies were quick to provide immediate needs such as food, water, shelter and medicines. Korea and Taiwan have been quick to announce that they will be involved in providing relief and rehabilitation for the stricken provinces.
Other small groups, particularly those with Boholano roots – from Manila, Cebu, Mindanao and abroad – have taken the initiative to mobilize their networks to help the province. For those who have not yet made connections with any organization helping to provide assistance for Bohol, please contact us. We will guide you to what’s most convenient for your location. You can go straight to the ABS-CBN or GMA Foundations, or you can go to your favorite bank which may have started a campaign for Bohol. Our families and friends in Bohol are in need of food, water, shelter and medicines right now.
The outpouring of support is not only heart-warming, it provides a message of hope for our brothers and sisters in Bohol. It is this hope for a fresh start that gives them the inspiration to rise up from this temporary fall. And I have no doubt in my mind that Bohol will definitely rise again. Bangon, Bohol!!!
For more on the quake, pls read: https://cbholganzablog.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/we-interrupt-this-program-to-give-you-a-special-news-bulletin/
(Photos courtesy of gerald james cabral, ph.yahoo.com)