Robie de Guzman UNTV News
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Thursday said it has mobilized its assets and rescue teams to several areas in Mindanao that were heavily hit by recent earthquakes.
The PCG said its K9 search and rescue teams have been deployed to Davao City, Bansalan, Magsaysay and Matanao in Davao del Sur; Tulunan and Makilala towns in Cotabato and other areas in Mindanao to help in search for missing persons following a magnitude 6.5 quake that occurred Thursday morning.
Two powerful temblors, with epicenter traced in Tulunan town, were also experienced in these areas last Oct. 16 and Oct. 29.
The PCG said two of its rescue teams with six K9 dogs were already sent to Ecoland 4000 to help in the search and rescue operations.
Additional vehicles and other assets will also be provided to be utilized for all operations within the areas, it added.
PCG’s Islander 251 will also fly to Davao onboard with K9 dogs and 500 handheld radio equipment.
PCG chief Vice Admiral Joel Garcia said PCG vessels stationed nationwide will also transport relief goods to quake-stricken areas.
Local government officials in affected areas earlier appealed for tents, sleeping mats and mosquito nets as most of the residents do not want to return to their homes amid aftershocks. They also asked for additional relief goods such as food packs, drinking water, pipes for water, laminated sacks or trapal, medicines and water purifiers for the victims.
“I am seeking assistance to all non-government organizations and private sectors for relief goods as soon as possible in order to augment to the needs of the victims. You can directly coordinate to all PCG districts nationwide for the shipment,” Garcia said in a statement.
The PCG will also send its medical teams tapped to deliver assistance to injured victims.
The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), for its part, assured to prioritize cargoes and personnel that are intended for rescue and disaster management efforts.
PPA general manager Jay Santiago said they will also send bottled water and non-perishable food to evacuation areas, provide additional port personnel, and reallocate available Malasakit supplies for the aid of earthquake victims.
The PCG and PPA said the mobilization follows the directive of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade in compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to provide assistance and relief to those affected by the quake.