[BLOG PHOTO FROM GOOGLE - In the photo Noynoy is making an assessment of the damaged road at La Libertad, Negros Oriental. Although not stopping long in Negros Oriental due to flying back to Manila in the afternoon, main thing is though at least he took the time out to assess things himself. ]

MANILA, FEBRUARY 9, 2012 (TRIBUNE) By Fernan J. Angeles, Mina Diaz, Gina Peralta-Elorde - President Aquino who visited quake-hit areas in Negros Oriental yesterday, together with his sisters Ballsy and Pinky to inspect the damage brought about by the 6.9 magnitude earthquake on Monday, missed a strong aftershock.

Aquino and his entourage arrived at Dumaguete City airport at 10 a.m., an hour after the strong aftershock hit the place.

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake struck at 8:41 yesterday morning. Its epicenter was located 11 kilometers northwest of Guihulngan City, where at least 30 houses were buried by a quake-triggered landslide on Monday.

The tremor was one of the more than 1,200 aftershocks that followed the magnitude 6.9 quake that hit Negros and Cebu provinces on Monday morning. The strongest of the aftershocks was measured at magnitude 6.2, Phivolcs records show.

Phivolcs said that the magnitude-5.2 aftershock was felt at Intensity 4 in Guihulngan, Intensity 3 in Tanjay in Negros Oriental and Iloilo City, Kanlaon City; and Intensity 2 in Dumaguete City, La Carlota City in Negros Occidental and Loboc and Sikatuna towns in Bohol province.

[PHOTO FROM GOOGLE - Landslide area in Bgry Planas, Guihulngan City (photo by Florence Baesa)]

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), in its 8am Wednesday report, recorded 26 fatalities all from Negros Oriental. The dead includes 13 in Guilhungan, four in Jimalalud, three in Tayasan, one each in Bindoy, Bais, and Ayungon and three in La Libertad.

Guihulngan City Mayor Ernesto Reyes gave a briefing to Aquino on the situation in the city.

The Malacaang chief executive turned over a P3.3 million cheque for the Guihulngan citys livelihood program. He also asked Reyes to appeal to his constituents to open their market stalls to prevent food shortage in the area.

Aquino also saw patients in the city hospital billeted outside the medical facility as the hospital building was reported to sustained cracks during on Mondays earthquake.

Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Soliman, meanwhile, promised to provide tents for the patients who had to vacate from the hospital.

Also, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) yesterday reported that the damage to various national roads and bridges in Central Visayas is estimated to have reached P265.75 million.

In a report submitted by DPWH Region VII office, at least 11 bridges along Dumaguete North road in Negros Oriental are rendered impassable. These are Martilo, La Libertad and Malaiba bridges in La Libertad; Pangaloan, Jimalalud, and San Jose bridges in Jimalalud; Oyangon bridge in Ayungon; Baleria, Tinayunan, P. Zamora and Habag bridges in Guihulngan are impassable.

[PHOTO FROM GOOGLE photo by Dr. Mark Aranas]

Intermittend sections of Dumaguete North road are also impassable due to presence of cracks, road cuts and landslides.

In Cebu, a section of Dalaguete-Mantalongon-Badian road in Km 111 and Km 112 in the town of Badian are also impassable due to huge rocks fall, landslides and road slips.

The DPWH is now undertaking clearing operations in the said road section. Other parts of the said road in the towns of Dalaguete and Badiam have suffered landslides and rockslides but these are now passable to traffic.

Mangoto bridge at the municipality of Pinamungahan alond Toledo-Pinamungahan-Aloguinsan-Mantalongon road has suffered various cracks on the bridge deck, but, it is reported still passable.

Meanwhile, the Department Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo yesterday ordered Bureau of Fire Protection officials to mobilize all its men and resources in Western Visayas by bringing truckloads of potable water and conduct search, rescue, relief and rehabilitation in the earthquake-devastated localities in the region.

The DILG chief issued the directive in the wake of reports that many earthquake struck areas in the cities of Guihulngan and Bacolod have either no potable water or their sources like water springs are emitting mud as a result of the strong quake.

Robredo, who accompanied President Aquino in Negros Oriental to assess the situation and provide appropriate assistance to the victims, many of whom from landslides.

Also, survivors of a deadly quake in the Philippines begged rescuers yesterday to keep searching for dozens of people buried in landslides, but officials said hopes of finding them alive were dim.

Two days after a 6.7-magnitude quake flattened homes, destroyed bridges and crumbled mountainsides on the central island of Negros, rescue workers battled without heavy equipment to dig through rubble in the search for the missing.

Please do not give up, please continue searching, 47-year-old housewife Virginsita Magalso sobbed, her face streaked with dirt, as rescuers picked through mounds of dirt that covered the homes of family and friends.

We can still save them, miracles happen all the time.

Magalso said her 68-year-old mother, an older brother, his wife and their two young children were among those buried when part of a hill collapsed on homes in the farming community of La Libertad on Negros. With reports from AFP

Hoax text messages irk P-Noy By Danny Dangcalan and Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) Updated February 09, 2012 12:00 AM

[PHOTO - Army soldiers remove stones from a destroyed house as they help dig for earthquake victims in Barangay Songgon, La Libertad town, Negros Oriental yesterday. Lower photo shows President Aquino inspecting a quake-damaged bridge in Barangay Martilo in La Libertad. Edd Gumban]

DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines – President Aquino was irked by hoax tsunami warnings yesterday, saying he did not like it that people were experiencing undue stress and anxiety because of tsunami and earthquake scares.

Aquino, who spent his 52nd birthday here visiting the earthquake victims in Negros Oriental, said he saw nature’s wrath as he inspected the areas hit by the magnitude 6.9 quake.

He asked officials to ensure that people would be fully aware that there would be aftershocks and they should not panic.

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) director Renato Solidum said over 1,200 aftershocks had been felt.

The President said rumors spread that a tsunami would come as well as an 8.5 magnitude earthquake, creating fear among the people in Guihulngan and other areas.

In a briefing with his Cabinet members at the airport here, the President said he personally saw how scared the people were in the areas they visited.

[PHOTO FROM GOOGLE photo by Dr. Mark Aranas]

Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III said the President talked to the residents of Guihulngan and told them to stay calm and that no tsunami was coming.

Aquino also vowed the government would expedite action to address the various needs of earthquake victims in Negros Oriental, releasing an initial P10.3 million for the cash-for-work program to provide temporary livelihood and assuring that food and other supplies would continue to pour in.

He ordered officials to give him concrete results in two months as he stressed the government’s capability to fund the needed programs and projects for rehabilitation.

Some residents of Guihulngan, meanwhile, sang the President a “Happy Birthday” song while other officials said they were hoping he was here to celebrate a more joyous occasion and not attend to needs of calamity victims.

The President said he probably would not have any celebration after going back to Manila.

He said he asked for food to be prepared for his staff and the Presidential Security Group so they could eat while working.

“On my part I am just waiting, through the kindness of my Cabinet secretaries, they might treat me. But most probably not since they need a little rest because they have a lot of assignments,” Aquino said.


The City Social Welfare and Development Office of Dumaguete along Rizal Boulevard is appealing to the public for more donations of rice, food, clothing and kitchenwares for the displaced families staying at the evacuation centers. Please bring your donations to their office so the distribution to the centers can be centralized.

Destruction in La Libertad town (photo by Mymy Glaraga)

With the spate of natural disaster, supposedly driven by climate change and man-made misgivings, there is no best recourse to adapt to or prevent much damage to life and property than be informed of the risks ahead.

We are reposting here an interactive table of towns and cities in Negros Oriental, which that have been determined to be at high risk of landslides. This is part of GMA News’ lists of almost 2,000 barangays across the Philippines. All entries are current as of December 2011 and were compiled by GMA News Research based on data from the Department of Enviroment and Natural Resources’ Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB). For a complete list of areas across the Philippines, visit GMA News Website.

CLICK HERE FOR LIST OF TOWNS: Landslide Prone Areas in Negros Oriental


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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