Quake-damaged roads, bridges derail relief operations in Negros Oriental

February 7, 2012 11:11 pm 

MANILA, Feb. 7 — Relief goods are ready for distribution in earthquake-stricken areas of central Visayas, particularly in Negros Oriental, but damaged roads and bridges in some towns hamper government operations.

Department of Social Welfare and Development Undersecretary for Operations and Capacity Parisya Taradji said food and non-food items from the agency's office in Region 7 were already being distributed to affected families, especially in areas hardly hit by the magnitude 6.9 earthquake on Monday.

"We are ready to ship some of our relief items [from Manila] to Dumaguete City and we are now releasing about P10 million as an augmentation to the relief operations in Region 7," Taradji said in an interview.

She said officials of National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has assured that they will be provided transportation for the speedy distribution of relief items.

"Possible problem ay yung how to bring in the goods but we are assured by the NDRMMC of the availability of transport facilities like boats and chopper to bring in the goods to those areas if needed," she said.

These areas were identified as the towns of Ayungon, Mabinay, Tanjay, Tayasan, La Libertad and the cities of Guihulngan and Dumaguete in Negros Oriental and Cebu City.

Taradji said they would also ship tents and power generators in areas with electric interruptions.

She added that they would conduct stress debriefing to affected families.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Soliman has earlier instructed DSWD Quick Response Teams to assist local government units in assessing the impact of the disaster.

Soliman is set to visit Dumaguete City on Wednesday.

The Department of Public Works and Highways said the earthquake's damage to roads and bridges reached P265.75 million.

In Dumaguete, five bridges are impassable due to damages. These are the Martilo Bridge km 64+800 (La Libertad); Pangaloan Bridge (Jimalalud); Oyangon Bridge ; San Jose Bridge km 101+669; and Bateria Bridge.

In Cebu, impassable roads include the Dalaguete-Mantalongon-Badian Road in Badian town. (PNA) RMA/jmc/utb

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