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National

Aquino to visit Cebu, Bohol Wednesday to assess quake damage

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III will visit quake-ravaged areas in Cebu and Bohol on Wednesday to assess the destruction there.

In a briefing at the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council on Tuesday, the President said he wanted agencies to account for everyone in the disaster areas especially those trapped in buildings and isolated locations.

The President also instructed agencies to inform the people in affected areas that there’s no tsunami warning raised and tidal waves won’t affect coastal communities.

The Department of Science and Technology said during the briefing that there are possibilities for sinkholes to appear, and these could threaten people and infrastructures, so the public must take extra precaution while in the disaster areas.

Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has prepared food provisions and tents for the victims. She said tents are needed because many people were still afraid to go home as aftershocks continued.

Soliman said 200 families were sheltered in Tagbilaran Stadium, and many were still coming.

The defense department said three C-130 cargo planes from the air force are on standby to carry relief supplies and personnel.

It was also reported that the Tagbilaran port could accommodate naval ships that will ferry relief goods, personnel and other supplies.

The Department of Public Works and Highways said 12 bridges were damaged by the quake in Bohol, which will make transporting of supplies difficult. The department has to make temporary bridges to reach affected communities.

President Aquino said the DPWH must take a second look at how it does the assessments on the country’s buildings and structures to ensure their structural integrity and prevent the loss of lives.

Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson said they have been carrying out assessments of the country’s structures under their structural resiliency program that are focused on hospitals and schools.

Also during the same briefing, officials from the Department of Education said that 95 percent of school buildings in Cebu were reported to have cracks and were now considered unsafe. The DepEd announced the suspension of classes in Cebu and Bohol Wednesday.

The 7.2-magnitude earthquake is the strongest that hit Bohol in the last 400 years, according to government officials.

The quake’s epicenter was tracked at a mountainous area in Bohol, they said.

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