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July 27, 2022

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) is reminding the public to remain vigilant, take precautionary measures, and follow authorities’ safety warnings, following the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Abra, Wednesday morning.

NDRRMC Chairperson and Department of National Defense (DND) Officer-in-Charge Senior Undersecretary Jose Faustino Jr. immediately convened an emergency meeting at the NDRRM Operations Center to coordinate efforts to assess and respond to the impact of the earthquake. Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez also joined the meeting with Usec Ricardo Jalad and other OCD officials.

The Regional DRRM Councils of Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, the Cordilleras, Central Luzon, the National Capital Region and CALABARZON are providing situation updates in the said meeting Initial information reported by the regions include damage to infrastructure and private structures, and several landslide incidents. Reports are now being consolidated by the NDRRM Operations Center for a summary report.

One casualty, a construction worker, was also reported dead due to fallen debris in La Trinidad, Benguet. This is still subject to verification. Continuous assessment of the impacts and response operations are being conducted by the Local DRRM and uniformed personnel.

Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine National Police, and Bureau of Fire Protection have been deployed to support the search, rescue, and retrieval operations led by the LGUs. All government agencies are onboard to support the local operations following their specific mandates to ensure the safety and welfare of the affected populations. The Philippine Air Force will be assisting in the conduct of aerial inspections.

A memorandum has been issued to RDRRMCs, directing them to monitor for aftershocks and other secondary hazards; cross validate the situation; coordinate with the Department of the Interior and Local Government for rapid assessment and necessary actions based on the Operation L!STO of the LDRRMCs; ensure adherence to COVID-19 minimum health protocol; and submit regular updates to the NDRRMC.