Earthquake death toll rises to 9

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    THE National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council yesterday reported two more deaths from last Sunday’s magnitude 6.9 quake that hit Davao del Sur, raising the official death toll to nine.

    NDRRMC spokesman Mark Timbal said the new fatalities are from Malita, Davao del Sur and M’lang town in Cotabato province.

    Timbal could not immediately say the specific cause of the death of the two additional fatalities. He said officials were still verifying the circumstances of their death.

    Three of the seven fatalities earlier confirmed by the NDRRMC died after a grocery store collapsed in Padada town, Davao del Sur. The four others were from Matanao, Magsaysay, Hagonoy and Bansalan town, also in Davao del Sur.

    Timbal said one remained missing in Glan town, Sarangani.

    The NDRRMC said 111 injured in the Davao and Soccsksargen regions.

    The quake also destroyed or damaged 128 schools, 41 government structures, 19 health facilities, and 30 infrastructures.

    The Office of Civil Defense in the Davao Region said nine died in the region, one more than what was reported by the NDRRMC.

    The OCD-Davao region said 3,076 families or 14,993 persons were affected by the quake.

    It also said 5,091 houses were damaged by in the towns of Hagonoy, Padada, and Sta. Cruz, in Davao del Sur and Davao City.

    The Department of Education (DepEd) said it needs P256 million for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of damaged and destroyed schools in the Davao and Soccsksargen regions.

    As of December 17, 72 classrooms were reported destroyed, 152 had major damage, and 276 classrooms had minor damage.

    The department said 1,608 schools were affected by the earthquake.

    Damage assessment continues. – With Rod Lagusad