VP Leni Robredo visits quake-hit Itbayat

VP Leni Robredo visits quake-hit Itbayat

Batanes is still reeling from the effects of the two earthquakes, the first registered a 5.4 magnitude quake, around 4:16 a.m. at a depth of 12 kilometers northeast of Itbayat town, three hours later, a second one at magnitude-5.9 struck at about 19 kilometers off Itbayat.
Isolated form the mainland, it will need all the help from the national government to put some form of normalcy in this beautiful island.

The second highest official of the land Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo visited Itbayat to personally talk and provide help to quake-hit residents. 
Vice President Leni Robredo visited Itbayat to personally assess the damage in the area.
(photo credit to ABS-CBN)

"Siguro, hihintayin muna nila na long period of time na hindi nagkakaroon ng aftershock. Pati iyong pagkain, medyo problema din, kasi kailangan pa siyang i-transport dito. Naghahanap talaga ng mga paraan para dumating iyong tulong sa lalong madaling panahon. 
(Maybe they need to wait a little longer until there are no more aftershocks. Even the food is problematic because it has to be transported here. We are looking for ways to bring the necessary help here as soon as possible.)
What's urgent, Robredo said, is a temporary shelter for the affected residents.

"Siguro iyong first na pinaka-urgent, na may matulugan na sila na mas maayos. Mayroon naman tayong mga dala na gamit, pero mas pang-temporary siya. Siguro sa lalong madaling panahon, iyong pinaka-mahalaga, maka-build na ng temporary shelters. Na-figure out na din ng Provincial Government kung paano iyong gagawin. Iyon iyong umpisa," Robredo said. 
(What's urgent is for them to have a place to sleep in. We brought supplies but these are just temporary. What's important is to build temporary shelters. The provincial government figured out how to do that.)

Distance is the biggest hurdle in helping Itbayat

The Vice President said bringing in food and construction supplies remain a challenge because of the distance.

"Mayroong mga barko na pumupunta, pero it takes a while bago makarating," Robredo said.
(There are ships that sail here, but it takes time to arrive.)
She said, it takes three days for boats loaded with supplies to reach the Itbayat island.

Itbayat District Hospital and Itbayat Municipal Health Office are no longer functional after sustaining damages worth P47 million, according to the Department of Health  (DOH)

The Itbayat District Hospital SOS for additional supplies of medicines have been addressed by Robredo.
"Ngayong umaga, marami kaming mga gamot na dala. Iyon iyong SOS ng Itbayat District Hospital. Iyong problema pa, iyong mga nasaktan hindi kaya ng health services dito." she said.
The Vice President clarified that the supplies they brought were from the private organizations as her office lacked funds.
But Robredo added that they will hold a fund drive for them as residents worry about where to get the money to rebuild their damage homes.

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Report from ABS-CBN News

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