DHSUD to assist Surigao quake victims

Romina Cabrera, Neil Jayson Servallos - The Philippine Star
DHSUD to assist Surigao quake victims
Medical personnel evacuate patients from a hospital in Butuan City after a magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck Surigao del Sur on Saturday night. Inset shows residents gathering along a street after the powerful temblor.

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) has activated its shelter cluster teams to determine and provide the housing needs of people displaced by the magnitude-7.4 earthquake in Surigao del Sur.

DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar said he ordered the agency’s shelter clusters teams in Caraga and Davao region to assist quake-hit communities in the province.

In a memorandum, Housing Undersecretary Randy Escolango advised DHSUD regional directors to coordinate with local government units in affected areas for any assistance that can be extended to the victims.

“The DHSUD, in compliance with the directive of President Marcos, is always ready to extend shelter assistance to victims of disasters,” Escolango said.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Caraga and Davao regions were the areas most affected by the earthquake that struck on Dec. 2.

Under an NDRRMC memorandum, the DHSUD will lead the assessment and provision of shelter needs as well as other relevant support services for disaster-affected areas.

The DHSUD’s rental subsidy and financial assistance program provides that families whose houses are damaged by disasters can receive up to P10,000 in cash assistance.

Meanwhile, state seismologists said the quake generated two aftershocks higher than magnitude-5 over the weekend.

The first aftershock occurred 44 kilometers north of Cagwait at 8:34 a.m., and the second at 1:27 p.m. some 96 kilometers north of Hinatuan.

Up to 2,568 aftershocks have been recorded since the quake jolted Surigao del Sur, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

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