Thursday, December 03, 2020

4 dead, 19 hurt in Batanes quake

Jul 27. 2019
The Itbayat Church sustains damage after Batanes was hit by a 5.4 magnitude earthquake before dawn Saturday. (Photos by Dominic De Sagon Asa)
The Itbayat Church sustains damage after Batanes was hit by a 5.4 magnitude earthquake before dawn Saturday. (Photos by Dominic De Sagon Asa)
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By Philippines Daily Inquirer 
Asia News Network

Four fatalities have been reported in Batanes Province’s Itbayat town following a 5.4 magnitude earthquake that struck the country’s northernmost community at 4:16 a.m. on Saturday (July 27), according to various sources.

 Volunteers have been digging through rubble left when the temblor destroyed houses at dawn, and have retrieved four bodies, according to Josefa Ponce, secretary of the Itbayat municipal council.

Itbayat District hospital staff identified the fatalities as Emma, Mary Rose and toddler Leona, all surnamed Valiente, who were buried when their old house collapsed in Barangay Sta. Maria (also known as Marapuy).

The fourth fatality is being retrieved at Barangay Raele, which is 9 kilometers away. Nineteen more people have been confirmed hurt including teacher Edward Dita. Many were still asleep when the quake struck.

The United States Geological Services tracked the epicenter at 3 kilometers east northeast of Itbayat with a depth of 9.1 km below the Earth’s surface. Residents said they woke up to a jolt that was followed seconds later by the jarring up-and-down movement that sent people scampering for help. Itbayat is currently suffering a power outage likely due to damages affecting underground power lines.

Cracks have been observed at the Itbayat Jorge Abad airport.   Mayor Raul de Savin has been directing recovery and rescue efforts and is convening the disaster risk reduction and management council. USGS data shows that there has been a build up of tremors beginning on July 19 with a 4.5 quake 100 km north of Itbayat, and a 4.9 temblor west of Itbayat on July 22. It says a  4.9 magnitude rocked the islands  106 km east of Basco on July 23 while 4.6 intensity quake was recorded 122 km Southwest of Hengchun in Taiwan.

On Friday afternoon (July 26), Itbayat felt a 4.7 magnitude quake north northeast of Itbayat. 

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