In the aftermath of the 7.3 magnitude earthquake that shook Northern Luzon on Wednesday morning, a total of 3,494 houses sustained damages while 53 roads and bridges were deemed impassable.

“Narito kami ngayon ni President Bongbong Marcos upang suriin ang saklaw ng pinsala dulot ng lidol. To the affected families and residents of the earthquake, help is on the way,” said the Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos, Jr.

Abalos flew to Abra to accompany President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. to assess the damage wrought by the July 27, 2022 earthquake.

“Recovering from the economic losses due to natural disasters is an arduous journey that any family and LGU can go through. So we at the DILG, the PNP, the BFP, the national government and our LGUs will do our best help affected citizens recover from this unfortunate event,” said Abalos.

Upon initial assessment, it was found that 317 houses were totally damaged and 3,177 were partially damaged by the tremor. Two private buildings now also lie in ruins while 49 private buildings were partially damaged.

Residents and volunteer groups likewise have to face the challenge of transportation as 47 roads and 6 bridges were reportedly impassable or partially impassable.

“I urge our PNP, BFP and LGUs to mobilize response teams to assist volunteer groups in the transportation of aid and relief packs. Moreover, help the affected find shelter either in our evacuation centers and facilitate their safe travel to the homes of relatives or friends willing to welcome them,” Abalos said.

As power interruptions continue to cut electricity in 19 local governments, one province was also reported to have experienced a cell site outage and one LGU experienced intermittent communication line.

Abalos likewise called on the local chief executives of Regions 1, 2 and 3 to monitor their areas of jurisdiction for any sign of aftershocks and related incidents.

“LGUs in the hard hit areas of Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley and the Cordillera Administrative Region are on top of the situation and will continue to respond to the needs of our citizens,” said Abalos.

According to initial reports from the DILG’s field offices, a total of 218 of the 296 local chief executives (LCEs) are present in the affected LGUs.

“Our LGUs have already convened their respective Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Managements Councils (LDRRMCs) and have activated the RED ALERT status,” said Abalos.

Based on latest reports, five people died while 62 sustained injuries as a result of the quake.

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