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Press Release - Senator Mark Villar Symphatizes and Urges Aid for Victims and Casualties of the Surigao del Sur Earthquakes

Senator Mark Villar extends his sympathies to the families of the victims and casualties of the 7.4 magnitude earthquake in Surigao del Sur at 10:37 PM of Saturday, December 2, 2023. Hundreds of aftershocks, with magnitudes ranging from 1.4 to 6.2, have also occured in Surigao after the initial quake. A 5.7 magnitude earthquake also hit Cagwait, Surigao del Sur early this morning, December 5. Senator Mark further urges for the distribution of aid for the casualties of the multiple earthquakes in the region.

"It is disheartening to know of the one pregnant lady casualty and the other 529 families affected by the earthquake. Kailangan po nating aksyunan ang pagkakaroon ng mga preemptive measures para sa mga lindol at iba pang kalamidad tulad nito so we can prevent such impact from happening again," Senator Mark said.

The officials from the CARAGA Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and other reports of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said that the earthquake forced residents in coastal areas to move to higher ground due to a possible tsunami. They further reported the "destructive" classification of the earthquake.

"I applaud the immediate response of the local and national government to mediate the casualties of the earthquake. Ang mabilis na pag-responde sa mga kalamidad tulad nito at ang pagkakaroon ng mga strong infrastructures ang ating kailangan upang masiguro ang kaligtasan ng ating kapwa Pilipino," Senator Mark said.

During his tenure as the Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways, Senator Mark formed the Earthquake Resiliency Program Management Office (ER-PMO) to serve as an integrated department approach in addressing earthquake resiliency problems, in anticipation of the Big One and the frequent earthquakes across the country.

"The impact of the earthquake underscores the need for well-coordinated disaster risk reduction measures from our national and local governments. One of which that we could greatly focus on is the building of infrastructures that have the capacity to withstand such magnitude," Senator Mark emphasized.