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DHSUD activates shelter teams in quake-hit areas

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) activated over the weekend its shelter cluster teams to respond to the regions in Mindanao which were affected by the 6.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Sarangani, Davao Occidental on Friday.

DHSUD Undersecretary Randy Escolango issued a memorandum on Saturday for the activation of the teams and ordered all affected regional offices “to closely monitor your respective areas of jurisdiction and facilitate emergency responses and humanitarian assistance as needed.”

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), among the most affected areas were the Davao region and Soccsksargen.

The NDRRMC also reported that at least 55 houses were partially damaged, while 19 were totaled in Davao region and Soccsksargen due to the tectonic quake.

The affected DHSUD regional offices were also tasked to submit daily situation reports to the central office.

Escolango said that DHSUD and its partner, the International Organization for Migration, have readied shelter-grade tarpaulins for distribution to affected families.

A magnitude 4.3 aftershock jolted Sarangani at 4:05 a.m. yesterday, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

Phivolcs said the quake’s epicenter was located 22 kilometers south of Glan, Sarangani, with a depth of focus of 33 km.

Instrumental intensity 1 was recorded in Kiamba and Malungon, Sarangani and General Santos City.

Phivolcs Director Teresito Bacolcol said that the aftershocks could persist for several days to weeks.

Based on the monitoring of Phivolcs, close to 100 aftershocks were recorded ranging from magnitude 1.4 to 4.3.

“We would expect at most a magnitude 5.8 aftershock,” Bacolcol said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Public Works and Highways was instructed by Senate public works committee chairman Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. to immediately deploy personnel to inspect infrastructure in General Santos City and other parts of Southern Mindanao which were hit by the earthquake.

“While there are only minor damage apparent now, it is important to ensure that no structural damage were sustained by

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