Local News: ‘Quake Victims Need More Water, Tents, Food, Medicine’ - Mayor
Victims of the recent earthquake in Guihulngan City in Negros Oriental Province need tents, blankets, food and just as importantly, water, which they actually lack, Mayor Ernesto Reyes of Guihulngan City said during an interview with Aksyon Radyo yesterday morning.
Although relief assistance was pouring in, the items mentioned are the most needed because residents who have decided to stay outside their houses have decided to live in tents because of the possibility of another major quake or are frightened with aftershocks still taking place. They also need a steady source of water because those in the city cannot be used yet as these are yet murky and could infect those who drink it. Medicines and food are also needed. The United Nations and countries such as Russia are sending relief goods to affected residents and it will arrive in a few days.
Most of the houses in the city have been either partially damaged or totally destroyed and the families who have evacuated their homes fear returning yet, Reyes said.
Barangay Planas, among the most affected by a landslide which buried many people, would, it has been decided by local and national rescue and disaster relief officials, be converted into a memorial for the victims because retrieving their bodies would be next to difficult, said Reyes.
“The whole mountain in Brgy. Planas practically collapsed and that the bodies of the victims cannot now be retrieved,” said Reyes. Electricity, roads and bridges have been repaired already and vehicles can now enter and pass through towns in the province.
Most of the houses, especially concrete ones have exhibited damages primarily showing signs that it has cracked up in some parts.
Patients prefer to stay outside hospitals because of the aftershocks, the reason why tents are also important.
For those whose homes have been damaged and the area vulnerable to another quake, a relocation or resettlement of their homes are needed.
Reyes vehemently denied that he has been keeping some of the goods sent to his municipality. Talks, he said, had been spreading that he has hid some of it which was totally untrue. He has been dispensing it to city folks, he said.
He also profusely thanked Fire Department personnel who had been proceeding to Guihulngan to provide water for residents there.
The Bacolod and Talisay City governments, the provincial government and Congressman Albee Benitez have provided assistance for Guihulngan and other towns in Negros Oriental.*