Residents appealed for food and temporary shelter as Philippine officials flew supplies to regions cut off since a massive earthquake rocked the main island of Luzon this week.

The military said it has sent people and helicopters to seven remote communities in Abra province to deliver humanitarian supplies.

According to Romel Lopez, spokeswoman for the social welfare ministry, around 3,000 food packets were flown to the towns.

Residents were still camping out in parks and open spaces in some locations, their nerves frazzled by the constant aftershocks from Wednesday’s magnitude 7.1 earthquake in northern Luzon, which killed six people and wounded more than 270.

Former mayor Gybel Cardenas told Reuters that people in Abra’s Bucloc town, which was shut off until Thursday evening, were concerned about fresh landslides caused by tremors and rain.

According to the state disaster service, the quake destroyed over 1,600 residences and around 100 pieces of infrastructure, and there have been more than 1,000 aftershocks with magnitudes ranging from 1.5 to 5.4 reported so far.

“Our problem is we have yet to receive any assistance. We need food, milk, water and medicines,” Gamalea Dimaampao, a resident in Bangued town in Abra, told DZMM radio.

Families, including children, were hiding behind broken tarpaulin sheets, leaving them vulnerable to the rain, according to Dimaampao.

Residents in Lagangilang, also in Abra, requested temporary shelter and food.

“Many families are trying to fit into makeshift tents. Adults sleep while seated while children cry during aftershocks,” resident Leonora Baruela told DZMM.

Abra, a region of falling valleys and rocky mountains home to almost 250,000 people, has been responsible for the majority of the reported landslides and damaged roadways since the earthquake.

The Philippines is prone to natural catastrophes due to its location on the “Ring of Fire” a belt of volcanoes and fault lines that around the Pacific Ocean’s rim. Earthquakes are common, and there are 20 typhoons on average each year, some of which cause devastating landslides.

Source: Reuters


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