We need help! We’ve been experiencing a series of earthquakes. Magnitude 6.3 last 16 October. Magnitude 6.6 last 29 October. Magnitude 6.5 last 31 October. 22 people died. 420 were injured. The earthquakes were tectonic, not volcanic — we’re not worried about Mt. Apo erupting. There have been no tsunami threat — the epicenter is inland. The series of earthquake occurrences, according to experts, are being caused by interacting faults, adjusting to each other’s movements.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that over 21,000 homes are destroyed and 7,200 partially damaged, mostly in the municipalities of Makilala and Tulunan in North Cotabato. The OCHA further reports that more than 870 schools are damaged, which are frequently used as evacuation centres and has also hampered education of over 3.4 million learners. More than 70 health facilities and 80 other public structures are also damaged, as well as over 25 bridges and roads in Region 11 and 12. Over 188,000 people are affected in some 240 barangays in Region XI and XII. Some 24,000 people are staying in evacuation centres, while nearly 7,500 are staying with host families. The municipality of Makilala has been hit the hardest, with over 100,000 people affected, most of whom are currently staying in makeshift shelters. The entire population of eight barangays in Makilala had to be evacuated over the weekend. Local authorities continue to assess the number of casualties and damages, and numbers are expected to rise as the full impact of the earthquakes is being verified.
Focus on the Obo Manobo Indigenous People
We’re learning from various leaders of Indigenous Peoples (IPs) that most of their communities remain out of the reach of official assistance from local government units. We noticed this specifically when we conducted needs assessment last 03 November 2019 among 1,000 Obo Manobo families from Sayaban, at the foot of Mt. Apo. They have fled from the uplands down to the lowlands due to landslides caused by the earthquakes. Apu Sandawa (Mt. Apo), their sacred mountain, stands on their ancestral domains, and many prefer not to leave their land for fear of being prevented from returning.
Many do not have official identification cards or documents, and prefer to stay away from overcrowded evacuation centres, and are therefore unable to access the services of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Lakan Sumulong and Toto Balono visited an Obo Manobo clan that has taken refuge in a banana farm. They are currently living in the elements without any adequate shelter, sleeping mats, or food. Children and nursing mothers are still traumatized as the land continues to shake.
Here’s their situation as of 03 November 2019.
They need —
2. READY-TO-EAT FOOD
3. TENTS (family size)
4. MALONG (light blanket)
5. BANIG (sleeping mats)
6. CLOTHING (brand new)
Please send your cash donations to:
- Account Name: PEACEBUILDERS COMMUNITY, INC.
- Bank Name: Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company
- Checking Account Number: 547-7-547-00228-4
- International Swift Code: MBTCPHMM