ALSO: UN appeals for $46.8-M aid for Phl quake victims

BACK IN BUSINESS: A floating restaurant prepares to depart from the docking area in Loboc, Bohol as the popular river cruises resumed the other day – the first time since a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit the province. Several gates at the terminal were damaged by the quake. The Loboc River cruise contributes P75 million annually to the local economy. JOEY FLORES

MANILA, OCTOBER 28, 2013 (PHILSTAR) By Helen Flores - Strong aftershocks have continued to hit some parts of Central Visayas more than a week after a magnitude 7.2 quake struck the region and killed over 200 people.

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) director Renato Solidum said a total of 2,737 aftershocks were recorded as of noon yesterday, with 73 aftershocks reportedly felt.

An aftershock measuring magnitude 4.0 was recorded at 11:01 a.m., with its epicenter traced some 44 kilometers northeast of Tagbilaran City, Bohol.

It was felt at Intensity 4 in Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu.

Phivolcs describes an Intensity 4 quake as “moderately strong.”

The quake was also felt at Intensity 2 in San Isidro, Bohol and Intensity 1 in Sibulan, Negros Oriental.

Solidum had warned residents in quake-hit areas not to reoccupy damaged buildings or homes as aftershocks, which may last for weeks and months, may cause further destruction on the structures.

The centuries-old Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu was among the heritage sites destroyed by the quake. But its side entrance collapsed days after the powerful quake due to frequent aftershocks.

The magnitude 7.2 quake – the strongest to hit the region in more than two decades – was triggered by a “blind fault” north offshore of Bohol.

Over 3,000 workers, vendors displaced

The strong tremor shut down close to 200 commercial establishments as well as 40 construction sites in Bohol, displacing more than 3,000 workers and vendors, the Department of Labor and Employment said yesterday.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said 1,507 workers and 1,670 vendors were rendered jobless following the quake.

Baldoz said commercial establishments have to close down temporarily pending inspection of the damaged buildings.

However, the DOLE has yet to receive notices of permanent closure or termination.

“I have checked with our regional offices in Central Visayas and so far there is no formal notice of closure and termination filed by employers in Bohol and Cebu. Maybe the employers are still on wait-and-see attitude,” Baldoz said.

She said employers must file formal notices of permanent closure and termination of workers with the DOLE if they have decided to close their establishments.

Baldoz said the tourism industry in Bohol was badly affected by the quake.

“We were told that bookings from travelers were cancelled until December and the rehabilitation of the damaged tourism sites and even the airport in Bohol have yet to start,” she said.

She said the DOLE has put in place alternative livelihood for the affected workers.

“We are providing the affected workers assistance and DOLE can help them find alternative jobs in nearby provinces that were not affected by the quake,” she said.

‘Relief operations more important’

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines president Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma yesterday told church-run Radio Veritas that helping affected communities is more important than the restoration of centuries-old churches destroyed by the quake in Central Visayas.

Palma made the statement as church-based agencies are intensifying efforts to provide relief to thousands of people displaced by the tremor last Oct. 15.

The clergy, religious groups and other lay organizations in the Diocese of Tagbilaran met on Wednesday to discuss how they could sustain relief efforts to affected areas.

Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso said they also plan to provide temporary shelters to families affected by the earthquake.

“We have been asking our benefactors to supply us with tents so that people can stay in open spaces because they are afraid of the aftershocks,” he said.

Binay forms task force

Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday formed a multi-agency task force to address the housing needs of earthquake victims in Bohol and Cebu.

Binay, chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), tapped national government agencies and local government units to help in the rehabilitation of houses destroyed by the tremor.

He said they would seek the support of the private sector and the foreign community.

The task force will be composed of agencies under the HUDCC such as the National Housing Authority, Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG, Home Guaranty Corp., Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, National Home Mortgage Finance Corp. and the Social Housing Finance Corp.

The Bohol-Cebu housing rehabilitation task force will include the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government. -With Mayen Jaymalin, Jose Rodel Clapano, Rainier Allan Ronda, Evelyn Macairan, Pia Lee-Brago

Another strong aftershock strikes Bohol ( | Updated October 26, 2013 - 12:00pm 16 403 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - Another strong aftershock struck Tagbilaran City in Bohol province before dawn Saturday.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said a magnitude-4.6 earthquake struck at 12:59 a.m.

The quake's depth was only 1 kilometer and its epicenter was traced 23 kilometers northeast of Tagbilaran City.

Phivolcs said that the temblor was an aftershock of the magnitude-7.2 earthquake that struck near Sagbayan town last October 15.

The aftershock was felt strongest at Intensity 5 in San Isidro, Bohol and felt at Intensity 3 in Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu and Tagbilaran City.

Phivolcs has recorded a total of 2,779 aftershocks as of 6 a.m. Saturday.

A total of 213 people have been confirmed killed at least 3.2 million have been affected, with nearly 400,000 left homeless by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake.

UN appeals for $46.8-M aid for Phl quake victims ( | Updated October 26, 2013 - 9:47am 1 10 googleplus0 1

Residents take shelter during a heavy downpour as they queue up to receive "Temporary Cash Transfer" given by the government at quake-hit Sagbayan township, Bohol province in central Philippines Thursday Oct. 17, 2013. A 7.2-magnitude quake hit Bohol and Cebu provinces Tuesday damaging buildings homes,churches and infrastructure and causing multiple deaths across the central region. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines - The United Nations is eyeing to put up US$46.8 million for the victims of the magnitue-7.2 earthquake that struck Central Visayas last week.

In a report by the Philippine News Agency, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said that together with humanitarian partners they are appealing for the fund for the acute needs of the quake victims in the country.

The report said that the fund will be used for relief efforts aligned with the Philippine government's priorities, including emergency shelter for the nearly 400,000 people displaced by the earthquake.

Part of the fund will also be used for debris removal and life-saving interventions.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has confirmed more than 200 fatalities and more than three million people affected by the earthquake that struck last October 15.

The UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said that people urgently require temporary and transitional shelters.

"Providing relief to the people who most need it requires cooperation and coordination with the local and national authorities, who are leading this response," it said in a statement.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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