Philippines: Tulunan, North Cotabato Earthquakes, Flash Update No. 3 (As of 4 November 2019, 5 p.m.)
As of 4 November, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reports of 22 deaths and over 420 injured as a result of a series of earthquakes that occurred between 16 and 31 October.
Over 21,000 homes are destroyed and 7,200 partially damaged, mostly in the municipalities of Makilala and Tulunan in North Cotabato. More than 870 schools are reported damaged, which are frequently used as evacuation centres and has also hampered education of over 3,4 million of learners. More than 70 health facilities and 80 other public structures are also damaged, as well as over 25 bridges and roads in Region XI and XII.
Over 188,000 people are affected in some 240 barangays in Region XI and XII. Some 24,000 people are staying in evacuation centres, while nearly 7,500 are staying with host families. The municipality of Makilala has been hit the hardest, with over 100,000 people affected, most of whom are currently staying in makeshift shelters. The entire population of eight barangays in Makilala had to be evacuated over the weekend. Local authorities continue to assess the number of casualties and damages, and numbers are expected to rise as the full impact of the earthquakes is being verified.
Government response and humanitarian coordination
The national government is leading response efforts, assisted by the Philippine Red Cross in deploying rescue teams, providing water, food, health and relief assistance. Government line agencies and local humanitarian partners continue to assess damages and verify the number of affected people, especially in remote areas where access has been difficult due to landslides. Local authorities are coordinating with the Department of Transportation and the Armed Forces of the Philippines on the transport of relief items.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is distributing food and relief assistance to affected families and setting up temporary shelters, and has set up two mobile logistics hubs, one from the World Food Programme, in Kidapawan City, Cotabato. Each logistics hub can store relief items up to 1,6000 cubic metric tons. As of 4 November, over Ph₱11.8 million (US$232,000) worth of assistance has been provided by DSWD to the affected families. Humanitarian partners have deployed staff to affected areas and are assisting local authorities with damage assessment and providing relief items. The Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation is coordinating with its private sector members and providing water, food, relief items and logistical support to affected areas.
Families who have evacuated are concerned that their houses are structurally compromised with the repeated strong earthquakes and succeeding aftershocks. Many are staying in makeshift shelters next to their homes or in nearby open spaces such as roadsides which exposes them to monsoon rains, health and protection concerns. Considering cause and nature of the damage of the buildings, displacement situation in many affected areas is anticipated to continue for at least six months. Food, water, shelter and health support continue to be priority needs. As displacement becomes protracted and the livelihoods of those affected are disrupted, cash assistance, shelter and household items will be also be needed.