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150 quake victims stay in evac center

CATAINGAN, Masbate --- Traumatized by the series of aftershocks triggered by the Aug. 18 6.6 magnitude earthquake, some 30 families consisting of 150 persons living in the town proper here have sought refuge at the Cataingan National High School on Tuesday night, the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) said recently.

Venus Rojo, MDRRM chief, said almost all of the residents here are still in a state of shock following the strong earthquake and the series of aftershocks that were felt for the past 24-hour period.

Rojo, in a phone interview, said they are still assessing the conditions where a meter-high sea intrusion occurred due to subsidence by liquefaction affecting ten houses built at the shorelines in Barangay Matayum.

Asked about the state of the Cataingan Port where cracks and rise in the portion of the port main docking area were reported, Rojo said that despite the minor damages brought by the strong tremor, the town port continues to operate normally, saying “a vessel from Cebu arrive this morning (5:30 AM) to unload cargo shipment.”

She said out of the nine commercial buildings inspected to have sustained structural cracks, three were recommended by engineers to be declared inhabitable and for demolition.

Phivolcs seismic instruments recorded 60 aftershocks that occurred for the past 12-hour period (8 PM to 8 AM),with a 5.2 magnitude quake that jolted the town at around 5:50 AM on Aug. 19.

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Bicol said initial damage assessment was placed at P24 million.

Aside from the earthquake, OCD confirmed that liquefaction, sinkhole and landslide were reported in villages in the town of Cataingan and Pio V. Corpus.

The OCD report has recorded one death and 48 injuries.

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