BAGUIO CITY – Four Abra schools were still serving as evacuation centers just days before the start of the new school year on August 22, an official with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Wednesday.
Among these was the Supo National High School, which currently housed 21 families, or 58 people, from Barangay Supo in the town of Tubo d’Abra, said Enrique Gascon Jr., DSWD deputy director for the Cordillera, during from a press briefing on Wednesday.
Gascon said the displaced residents lived in a “dangerous” area of their village, citing a post-earthquake assessment by the Bureau of Mines and Geosciences and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
These homes are located near a mountain with stress cracks that geologists detected following the magnitude 7 earthquake that killed 10 people and injured 573 others in the Cordillera region on July 27, Frankie Cortez said , chief of operations of the Office of Civil Defense of the Cordillera.
Abra continued to experience aftershocks, prompting residents to remain vigilant, Cortez said.
But the frequency and intensity of the latest tremors has started to slow based on remote monitoring by Phivolcs, he added. Southwest monsoon rains also remained a threat to the saturated Cordillera mountains, Cortez said.
He also said COVID-19 cases had started to rise in cities rocked by the massive earthquake.
As of Wednesday, Abra was treating 62 active cases of COVID-19. Across the Cordillera, the number of active cases stands at 976.
Gascon said the DSWD had contacted the Department of Education (DepEd) and could move 206 families to “transitional” shelters by August 22.
READ: Look through: Abra’s earthquake trail of destruction
He said Tubo had identified a grassland as a transition site for the families and village chiefs were preparing to build community kitchens and cozy bedrooms for them.
In addition to the Supo national high school, the Sagap elementary school in the town of Bangued welcomed 86 families, or 320 inhabitants.
In the municipality of Villaviciosa, the integrated school of Lumaba in the village of Ap-Apaya hosted 19 displaced families (44 people), while the central school of Villaviciosa in the village of Poblacion was a temporary shelter for 77 families. (216 people).
Mayors of Abra and Rep. Menchi Bernos asked Vice President and Secretary of Education Sara Duterte to postpone the school opening in the quake-ravaged province to give municipalities time to prepare. prepare for recovery operations.
That petition was still under review by DepEd, Cortez said.
In a previous assessment, he said 293 classrooms in the region were destroyed by the quake, including 233 in Abra.
The province has now moved into a recovery phase, but needs to review its building policies, Gascon said. —VINCENT CABREZA
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