UN calls on international community to help victims of quake in the Philippines

By Henni Espinosa and Raul Legaspi, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Oct. 25, 2013

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Following the 7.2 magnitude quake that hit the Visayas last week, the United Nations today appealed for $46.8 million in international aid to help more than 380,000 people who have been displaced in the province of Bohol, and who need basic needs like water, sanitation, food and health services for at least six months.

About 35,000 families are still desperate for shelter in the quake-stricken areas.

Australia has responded, pledging to send more than $2.8 million. Prior to the UN call for aid, the U.S. embassy in Manila allocated $50,000 for those devastated by the quake.

National disaster officials said that 211 people have lost their lives because of the tragedy. Philippine officials are now pushing for better preparedness against quakes, as the same impact could happen at any time, especially in the nation’s capital.

The Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study showed that a 7.2 magnitude quake could destroy 40% of all residential buildings, 35% of all public buildings, cause 34,000 fatalities, and injure about 114,000.

Meantime, in Arizona, more than 80,000 students recently took part in an earthquake preparedness drill, called the Great Arizona Shakeout.

Officials said this two-minute drill can potentially save lives and minimize injuries. They said Arizona has faults that could strike at 7.2 magnitude. But they said, compared to the Philippines, the U.S. is more equipped to deal with this kind of calamity.

I think they are probably not as prepared as we are here in the U.S., and it’s probably complicated by the fact that there’s a lot of unreinforced masonry construction in the Philippines that does not stand up well in earthquake situations,” Chief Ray Klucznik of the Phoenix Fire Department said.

These officials said no one can tell when an earthquake strikes. So preparedness is key to survival.

“To be prepared for such an event, one must have at least several days supply of canned food and bottled water. One must need to prepare to live without the convenience of electricity and running water,” Klucznik added.

You may contact Henni Espinosa at henni_espinosa@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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  • JD
    25 October 2013 at 11:14 pm - Reply

    What is Aquno, doing to help the people in philippines at Visayas following the Quake ? Why the United Nation is asking for help from other countrys, like Money. Why philippines is that poor they can’t help they own poor people? But the officials can take money from the poor.