Residents of an upland village here who returned home after fleeing to safer grounds following several strong earthquakes in October were ordered to evacuate anew following Sunday’s magnitude-6.9 tremor, an official said Tuesday.
Psalmer Bernalte, city disaster risk reduction and management council action officer, said about 30 families were told to leave Barangay Umpan and Sitio Mawig of Barangay Balabag here shortly after the 2 p.m. Sunday quake.
Bernalte said the families, mostly members of indigenous people community, were sent back to evacuation camps as aftershocks of the magnitude 6.9 quake continue to rock North Cotabato, Davao del Sur, and neighboring areas.
“Their safety is our priority,” Bernalte said, adding that until the general situation is normalized, the people living in high-risk areas will temporarily stay at evacuation camps.
A landslide beside the lone road leading to Barangay Balabag isolated the communities but responding soldiers of the 72nd Infantry Battalion manually removed huge boulders and debris on Sunday afternoon to allow villagers to proceed to the lowlands.
Kidapawan City Mayor Joseph Evangelista said the residents will remain in evacuation camps and will only be allowed to return once a written order from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology and Mines and Geoscience Bureau of the DENR is received by the mayor’s office.
Evangelista also announced that the city government is fast-tracking the completion of a housing project to be put up by the National Housing Authority for residents whose houses were totally damaged by the previous earthquakes. (PNA)