By Sundy Mae Locus

It has been exactly two days after a massive6.7magnitude earthquake hit SurigaoDel Norte in Mindanao. The recent shake destroyed numerous infrastructures including 12 schools, six bridges and business establishments. As of today, 8 people have died and 209 are injured due to the tremor. The digits are still reportedly increasing as records of aftershocks still manifest in the area.

The picture Surigao painted after the quake is heart-wrenching. The need for aid in the city is evident, as long lines of people asking for relief goodsare everywhere. The city airport was closed due to a cracked runway, buildings are etched with fissured walls and window panes, and even the school buildings and gyms used as evacuation centers are encompassed with damage.

“These may last for days, up to weeks,” Renato Solidum of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.The scenario implies that the residents of Surigao will have to suffer for few weeks more, cramped up in hunger and anxiety- waiting for the aftershock to cause further damage. The government teamed up with the Non-government Organizations (NGOs) in providing relief goods for the victims but with their current state, the residents would need double of what help they are receiving as their situation is expected to grow worse in the incoming days.

More than its tremor, the Surigao quake is a silent reminder of the pending tragedy that may hit the country. Dubbed as the ‘Big One’, Metropolitan Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study described the frightful scenario as a 7.2-magnitude earthquake to hit the bigger areas of Metro Manila where the West Valley Fault runs through. The casualties are expected to resolve in the collapse of 170,000 residential houses and the death of 34,000 people. Another 114,000 individuals will be injured while 340,000 houses will be partly damaged.

“Preparation is better than cure”. With the recent quake hitting Surigao, it should serve as a notice not only for the government but mostly for all of us to be always prepared for the worst. Consequently, we should always remember that Mother Earth will strike back when we least expected it.

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