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Earthquake-weary Surigaonons fear more aftershocks

Surigaonons continued to reel from the earth’s ramblings ever since a major 6.7-magnitude earthquake devastated the province over a month ago. Contributed photo

Powerful aftershocks continued to rattle Surigao del Norte as humanitarian agencies struggled to extend psychosocial support to the quake victims.

On Tuesday evening, a 4.8-magnitude aftershock rattled the province , as Surigaonons continued to reel from the earth’s ramblings ever since a major 6.7-magnitude earthquake devastated the region over a month ago.

Quake-weary Surigao residents, who were taking their dinner scampered and ran to the streets for safety when the tremor shook for less than 10 seconds.

No one was hurt during the incident, the city disaster risk reduction and management council (DRRMC) reported.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the epicenter of the quake was plotted seven kilometers (km) southwest of San Jose (Dinagat Islands), with a depth of 32 km.

The frequent occurrence of aftershocks, as well as the initial terror felt in the February 10 major earthquake, has prompted the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) into extending psychosocial support to 2,000 Surigaonons, who may have been traumatized by the earthquakes.

To help survivors cope, the PRC has established three welfare desks extending Psychosocial Support Program (PSP), Restoring Family Links (RFL), and Referral Service- one at the Caraga Regional Hospital, the other at Capitol Grounds Surigao City and at the Surigao City Auditorium.

“We, at the Red Cross, with the help of our trained social workers and volunteers, assist the immediate family members of victims in the aftermath of disasters by helping them cope and giving them hope,” said PRC Chairman Richard Gordon.

“It is in times like this that define our mission to alleviate the suffering of those who are in greatest need. We do not just provide relief assistance, we also address the psychological and social needs of individuals and families to help ease their physical and emotional pain,” Gordon added.

Psychosocial support helps mitigate the impact of disasters and helps survivors cope by offering them psychological first-aid (practical assistance, such as helping them get in touch with family members), guidance and counseling. By YUC

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