Al Kirkpatrick from Dumaguete Philippines – Death toll rises to more than 150
Al Kirkpatrick, CISO and Firestorm’s favorite itinerant traveler, communicates from Dumaguete, Philippines where more than 150 are reported dead (with some reports as high as 174 and growing), after a major earthquake hit the Philippines on Tuesday of this week.
The earthquake was centered about 620 kilometers (385 miles) south-southeast of Manila, near Catigbian, and its depth was 20 kilometers (12 miles), according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The Philippines disaster council gave the temblor a slightly higher rating of 7.2 magnitude.
Residents of Maribojoc, Bohol are asking government and other donors for relief goods as food and supplies in the town may only last less than a day as the town remained cut off after a bridge connecting it to Tagbilaran City, the provincial capital, collapsed during the magnitude 7.2 earthquake on Tuesday morning.
Al Kirkpatrick Update – 6 hours post-earthquake:
We just came over to the our vendor’s office where the generator is running, air conditioning is on and their redundant internet is up (points for their redundancy plan!).
We were about 60 km from the epicenter, and although we got quite a ride this morning, nothing like Bohol and Cebu (next two islands to the east) where there’s major damage and significant loss of life from collapses (older structures).
The earthquake is said to have been a 7.2 at Bohol and estimated down to about 6.5 when it got to us here in Dumaguete. All the airports are open now – but the Cebu and Bohol ports and channels are still closed.
My flight out of here back to Manila is in about 2 hours and apparently on time.
The disaster center said this quake was higher magnitude than Haiti – but apparently they were prepared with good building codes and so comparatively minimal toll. Also it’s a holiday here today – so the downtown areas were relatively empty at 8AM. That was really good fortune.
Lots of debris in the street here – interiors appear to be mostly plaster instead of wallboard and everywhere has cracks and such – but most appear to be facial only. Some power poles down and electricity grid is off – but most places have generators here. Our vendor’s office is the only place we have found with outbound Internet connectivity so far – had it off and on for a while this morning at the hotel – but eventually the external connection shut down there. Hundreds (yes) of aftershocks – one about every 5 – 10 minutes. Most barely noticeable, but a few have been in the 5 range.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reports that 19,309 houses were partially or totally damaged: 2,926 partially damaged and 15,574 totally damaged in Bohol; 12 partially damaged and 797 totally damaged in in Cebu. Before noon Thursday, the death toll climbed to 158, with officials reiterating the casualty count from the powerful quake was likely to rise as disaster response units begin reaching areas that had earlier been isolated by downed bridges or landslides.
For complete information on what is being done, resources and opportunities to contribute, visit http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/41461-relief-visayas-earthquake-victims