Philippines: Following Deadly Quake, ADRA Provides Relief in the Midst of Chaos
SILVER SPRING, Md. – The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is distributing emergency rations of food to families in the Philippines rocked by a deadly 6.9 magnitude earthquake. The quake struck moments before noon on February 6, and triggered devastating landslides, causing the deaths of 52 individuals.
The seven-day intervention assisted 720 families with approximately 26 lbs. of rice and 18 lbs. of various food items, per family, in four different towns of Negros Oriental; Tayasan, Ayungon, Jimalalud, and La Libertad. ADRA is closely collaborating with local government officials and continues to provide trucks to transport goods.
“Access to the affected areas was a huge challenge because the bridges were impassable”, shared one officer from ADRA Philippines in the affected area. “ADRA workers and volunteers were able to reach the affected areas and distributed the goods until the middle of the night. It was so dark because electrical posts were down and ADRA’s emergency response officers had to use flashlights. Some even shared a candle with one bereaved family, along with their dead in one distribution site.
Severe damage was inflicted upon roadways, leaving some highways and bridges impassible due to sizable cracks. Negros Oriental’s Mayor stated a violent landslide in the city of Guihulngan took the lives of 10 people after sweeping them away by its brutal force. According to the Associated Press, rescuers dug through dirt and rubble in search for survivors, many of whom were buried beneath their collapsed homes.
The quake struck three miles northwest of Tayasan town in the Negros Oriental province and had a depth of approximately six miles. Experts expect aftershocks to be felt for the next few weeks throughout areas near the epicenter of the quake.