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Guihulngan, Negros 'severely damaged' by quake, urgently needs supplies

The town of Guihulngan, Negros Oriental was “severely damaged” by the 6.9-magnitude earthquake that struck the province last Monday, with residents living on the streets and waiting for food and water.
A team of geologists from the University of the Philippines and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) who happened to be in the area when the tremor rocked Negros Oriental said the town needs food, water, and gasoline immediately.
Professor Sandra Catane, of the UP-National Institute of Geological Sciences, said the damage brought by the earthquake seemed to be “underestimated” for now.
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Catane said they were in the area to study Mt. Kanlaon, an active volcano that straddles between Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental. Over 70 people have been killed in the earthquake. But officials said the number could rise to 90 as many were still buried in collapsed houses and landslides.
“There has been significant damage. The road from San Fernando to Dumaguete was ruined. The people really need help,” she said when contacted by phone.
Because the roads have been rendered impassable, basic necessities have been slow to enter the town. Many residents of Guihulngan have been living in the streets because of their houses have been destroyed.
“People need food and water. There are no more pipelines. They need gasoline. There is still no electricity there,” Catane said.
Mariton Bornas, a Phivolcs staff, said the quake that struck Negros Oriental was located under a mountain and was classified as a reverse fault.
“One side moved up on the other side,” she said.
The fault line was not mapped because it was not immediately visible. “It happened under the mountain,” she added.
Bornas noted that they observed severe liquefaction in the town. Groundwater seeped over land and landslides occurred, indicating that the soil has weakened. The roads also showed deep cracks and many structures collapsed, she said.
Public infrastructure like bridges also showed signs of damage. She urged the government to immediately inspect roads and bridges to make sure that they are safe for people and vehicles. — TJD, GMA News