A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the mountainous province of Abra at 8.43 a.m. local time on 27 July, triggering landslides and the collapse of structures. The tectonic earthquake’s epicenter was located in the town of Tayum, Abra (17.64°N, 120.63°E - 003 km N 45° W) at a depth of 17 kilometers, with the tremor felt in varying intensities across Northern Luzon including the capital Metro Manila.
Initial assessments from local governments, supplemented by reports from the press and social media, indicated collapsed structures, landslides, and damages to roads in the provinces of Abra, Ilocos Sur, Benguet. Water, power and communication lines seem to be functioning in most of the affected areas. At least four deaths were reported but these are still being verified by authorities. According to the initial situation report of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), there are currently 1,624 people currently in 16 evacuation centers in Ilocos Sur province.
According to the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), local disaster response teams in the affected areas are conducting search, rescue and clearing operations with support of the uniformed services, while the regional DRRM council of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) deployed assessment teams to support the local capacities. DSWD has 527,000 family food packs as well as non-food items which are ready to be distributed to augment the response of affected local governments. At present, no request for international assistance is expected and regional authorities seem to be able to respond to the situation on the ground.
Humanitarian partners coordination and response
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is liaising with national authorities as well as humanitarian partners with local presence on the ground to determine the impact of the earthquake. OCHA has also requested UNOSAT for the activation of the Space Charter for satellite imagery of affected areas, while a Joint Analysis of Disaster Exposure (JADE) was released by the combined efforts of the Pacific Disaster Centre, OCHA and WFP (see attached).
In coordination with DSWD and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, IOM will be deploying 3,000 USAID shelter-grade tarpaulins and eight-person Quick Response Team composed of CCCM, Shelter,
WASH, Health/MHPSS experts to CAR on 28 July. The Philippine Red Cross, AAH, CRS and World Vision are also planning to conduct assessments in the affected areas.
Agencies that are planning to conduct assessments are requested to coordinate with the CAR DRRM council and share their assessment reports with OCHA.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.