Here are some updates on Bohol after the killer quake last October 15.
A total of 172 are confirmed dead, with 9 still missing as of today, October 21. There have been 370, 495 displaced persons, with 36,000 houses destroyed or damaged. Most of the damaged houses are deemed unsafe. There are still 113,227 persons still in 93 evacuation centers, while 257,268 are with relatives or friends. Most of these evacuees are afraid to go home due to the 2,078 aftershocks that have rocked Bohol after the October 15 attack. A total of 3,542,281 persons were affected, or 703,244 families.
That said, the biggest problems now are food and water, shelter and medicines. A total of P12.54M have been released from state agencies, LGUs and NGOs. This does not include the initiatives of private individuals, organizations or companies which have taken matters into their own hands.
The first 2 days after the quake were very chaotic. This was due to the extensive damage to roads and bridges, making access to the beleaguered towns difficult.
The original isolated towns were: Maribojoc, Loon, Sagap, Sagbayan and Antequera. They are now deemed partially accessible. Supply routes have finally been established, and supplies have started to trickle in. People in isolated barangays have been rescued. Electrical power have also been restored in most of these towns. Some water systems have also been delivered.
Infrastructure damages have been estimated at P.75B, not including private houses, which have also been deemed substantial.
A total of six (6) 17th century churches were destroyed. These are the churches in Clarin, Inabanga, Loboc, Loon, Maribojoc and Tubigon. These churches were classified as part of our national heritage by the National Historic Commission. Seventeen (17) other churches have been partially damaged. These are: Antiquera, Baclayon, Bilar, Calape, Carmen, Corella, Cortes, Danao, Dauis, Dimiao, Lila, Loay, Panglao, Sikatuna, Tagbilaran, Talibon and Trinidad.
The National Commission for Culture and Arts estimates that it will take at least P100M to rebuild the iconic churches. There are however two (2) options that are on the table right now. First is to rebuild the churches using the old look. And second, to construct a new church in a new location, letting the ruins remain.
Despite all the damages and the tears, Boholanos have – with the help of countless volunteers from all over the globe – slowly been getting their acts together. Although there were numerous cries of anguish and exasperation during the early chaotic days, the wheels of the relief and rehabilitation system are starting to turn. There were some frayed nerves, some bickering and finger-pointing, but by and large, the communities have come together to help each other out.
I asked a friend about his thoughts on Bohol. His answer: “Bohol pa? Babangon yan! Ang mga Boholano matitipid na, masisipag pa. Tsaka pasensyoso. Para yang si Pacquiao. Bumagsak man, babangon yan!” (Bohol? Bohol will rise again. Boholanos are a frugal and hard-working lot. And patient. Just like Pacquiao. He may have fallen, but he will rise again.)
I have no doubt in the resilience and determination of the Boholanos. And I am confident that Bohol will rise again!!!
For more on the Bohol quake, pls read:
(Photos courtesy of Ric Obedencio, Robert Poole, Willy Ramasola, Sylvia Dagami, Anna Mariz Igpit, Oplan Bangon Bohol, Pinoy aviators)