Batangas twin quakes damage schools, hospitals, churches

CAMP VICENTE LIM, Calamba City — The twin earthquakes — measuring magnitude 5.6 and 6.0 — which struck Batangas and Calabarzon areas at 3:07 p.m. and 3:09 p.m. respectively on Saturday brought damages to schools, hospitals, hotels, churches and other infrastructures, according to the rapid disaster assessments monitoring and reports that reached the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Calabarzon regional headquarters here on Sunday.

OCD Calabarzon Regional Director Olivia M. Luces reported that Cavite’s combined disaster response and emergency teams from Carmona, Alfonso and Tagaytay City will be dispatching on Monday (April 10) personnel and equipment to augment the local DRMMC in Mabini, Batangas where the two quake epicenters were traced.

Luces, who chairs the RDRRMC Calabarzon, also informed that the Tanauan City government in Batangas has declared the suspension of classes for all levels on Monday.

She identified the damaged school buildings as Batangas State University campus where the wall, ceiling and stairs of the College of Engineering, Architecture and Fine Arts building collapsed.

The Sta. Teresita College in Bauan, Batangas and the Barangay Bayorbor Senior High School Building in Mataas Na Kahoy also in Batangas reported minor damages.

OCD4A also reported that besides the Batangas Medical Center, Taal Polymedic Hospital and the Lipa City Hospital that suffered cracks on the walls, the Mabini General Hospital in Barangay Pulong Niogan also incurred major damages while Jesus of Nazareth Hospital in Batangas City was also reported to have cracks on its wall and its third floor ceiling collapsed.

The quakes also inflicted minor damages to San Juan District Hospital in Batangas and the Bay District Hospital in Laguna displacing patients and moved them to tents and temporary shelters.

Department of Health (DOH) Calabarzon regional office has already raised its Code White Alert as health service personnel continue gathering of reports with local health units.

Besides the 20 partially damaged houses reported earlier in Bauan, Batangas, the town disaster response unit also reported two totally-wrecked residential units in Barangays San Andres and Pitugo 1.

In Batangas City, a house located in Barangay dela Paz was totally damaged while the quake also partially damaged a house in Zone 6 in Taal, Batangas.

As the Holy Week started on “Palm Sunday” (April 9), authorities have closely coordinated with parishes on the structural assessments of churches that were damaged by the April 4 quake and the subsequent twin quakes on April 8.

These include the Tingloy Church, Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Batangas City where the wall of its pastoral building collapsed, Bauan Church and the Taal Basilica where fallen slabs and debris were earlier reported.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council has already issued caution to the public to stay safe and prepared and be vigilant in the wake of aftershocks that may trigger landslides and damage to infrastructures.

Authorities here have also informed that besides the Hotel Camp Netanya building that partially collapsed in Barangay Ligaya, Mabini, the Hotel Sapra in Barangay Sta. Clara in Batangas City was also partially damaged.

As of Sunday, government structures like the Anilao Market in Mabini, the Poblacion in Bauan and Mataas na Kahoy municipal hall incurred minor damages.

Landslides also impaired travel on roads in Batangas City from Barangays Dela Paz to Ilijan and Barangay Pagkilatan as of Sunday as heaps of fallen debris stalled traffic in San Roque Road in Bauan.

Mt. Maculot in Cuenca, Batangas also experienced landslide while a ground rupture was reported in Sitio Balanoy in Mabini, Batangas.

As the thousands of residents and patients are displaced and housed in temporary tent shelters and evacuation centers, OCD Calabarzon has been coordinating with the national OCD and NDRRMC on the provisions for mobile kitchens to Batangas City.

At the same time, DSWD IV-A also intensified relief operations through the disaster management units (DMUs) and coordination with the Warehouse Management Team for transport and logistical support.

DSWD has already distributed the 45 boxes of Ready-To-Eat-Food in Mabini, Batangas to families and patients who were under preemptive evacuation at the height of the quakes.

Batangas LGUs have also activated their incident command system (ICS) and established the Incident Command Post at the Batangas City Convention Center. Saul E. Pa-a/

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