Batanes appeals for food, transport for injured
Batanes Governor Marilou Cayco asked for aid after twin strong quakes struck the province Saturday morning.
According to reports from the Batanes Provincial Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO), at least eight were confirmed dead while 60 were injured after two tremors shook portions of the province.
In a television interview, Cayco called for support from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to transfer the injured to a more secure place.
"(Air travel) is only 12 minutes but no one but the Air Force can travel. That's why I have already requested for them to bring the injured people in Itbayat to Basco," Cayco said.
Cayco also added that evacuated residents, especially in Itbayat where the epicenter of the quakes was located, need tents and food.
"We need food. The residents don't want to go back to their home now. That's why I'm bringing food on my way to Itbayat so they would have some food while we're dealing with the situation," she explained.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles assured immediate help for the affected residents.
Nograles said food packs which were prepositioned in the capital town of Basco "are now enroute to Itbayat town."
Nograles said the immediate needs for people in Itbayat town are: tents for residents who are evacuated at the town plaza, biscuits or bread for survival consumption, portable generators and potable water.
He added that the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) was alerted to ensure that aid will make its way to the province.
"There are some concerns about weather conditions, which is why everyone is working double time to make sure that we can immediately provide help to those who are affected by the quake," Nograles said.
"Time is of essence here because of inclement weather," he added.
Aside from total power shutdown in Itbayat, roads, ancestral homes and the historic bell tower of Nuestra Senora del Rosario church all sustained damage. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS