Over 5,000 brought to safe grounds as twin quakes hit Batangas

BATANGAS CITY -– More than 5,000 people were brought to evacuation centers after a magnitude 5.6 earthquake jolted parts of Batangas at 3:07 p.m. Saturday and was shortly followed by another magnitude-6 temblor.

Georgina Garcia, information officer, OCD – Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (OCD-RDRRMC), said that consolidated reports showed around 3,053 individuals were evacuated to 11 evacuation areas in the city while some 89 families in San Luis town or 345 individuals from Balite, Poblacion, Banoyo and Dulangan villages were also evacuated.

In Mabini town, more than 2,000 individuals in front of the town hall following the twin quakes.

The report, according to Garcia, also showed temporary evacuation of some families from the town of Agoncillo, San Pascual and Tingloy, while all general hospitals in the City of Lipa have evacuated their respective patients outside the hospitals.

Taal Polymedic Hospital patients in the town of Taal also temporarily evacuated their patients and found cracks on the wall of the laboratory room.

Garcia disclosed that one man was wounded by pieces of broken glass in his working area in a glass and aluminum shop in Mabini town where the epicenter of the quake was traced.

Olivia M. Luces, regional director, said the OCD-RDRRMC has raised its alert status in all operation centers to ensure the proper monitoring, coordination and response to the affected areas and disseminated earthquake advisories since Saturday.

OCD-RDRRMC has coordinated with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the Department of Social and Welfare Development (DSWD) National Resource Operations Center (NROC) for 50 tents and transportation in response to the requests from Batangas PDRRMC and Mabini town, Batangas City for tents and for mobile kitchens.

Also in response to the request for assistance, Laguna provincial disaster management office provided 70 tarpaulins and 30 sackolines as temporary shelters, while the local disaster management offices of Carmona, Alfonso and Tagaytay City in Cavite province provided Collapsed Structure Search and Rescue (CSSR) personnel and equipment augmentation to Mabini town.

Meanwhile, the DSWD Calabarzon provided ready-to-eat food to the evacuees and patients under pre-emptive evacuation. Robert Maico/

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