earthquake in the Philippines

While having lunch, I heard my uncle’s fiance say there has been an earthquake in Visayas (that’s a group of islands south from where I live, Luzon). I couldn’t process it at first thinking we couldn’t be going through another calamity right after the series of typhoons and landslides in the past weeks. But then she started saying how she needed to call some of her relatives just to make sure they’re okay. That made it very real for me. We didn’t feel it from here in Manila but I was extremely scared for those who were there, my friends and their families.

According to the news, the intensity 7.2 earthquake that was greatly felt by majority of the Visayas provinces left many structures destroyed and has so far claimed 85 lives. It has greatly damaged few of the oldest churches in the Philippines like the Basilica Del Sto. Nino in Cebu and the Church of San Pedro in Bohol. Malls, bridges, homes and other buildings were also damaged.

SEVERE DAMAGE. The centuries-old Loboc Church in Loboc, Bohol shows its collapsed roof after a magnitude 7.2 quake in the region, 15 October 2013. Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole (@tokyodrastic)

photo by Robert Poole

It’s terrifying to keep watching these videos while knowing full well how scared the people in the area still are because of the aftershocks, the fear of not knowing which areas are safe evacuation centers and the all around brownouts that disallow them from contacting their families and friends.

Living in the Philippines my whole life, I’ve experienced a couple earthquakes myself- none as bad as this one, thank God. That feeling of being helpless, even if we’ve gone through dozen of drills, still shakes you and keeps you paranoid for some time. Although the government has made plans already on how to handle this, the civil society’s help and prayers will still be much needed and appreciated.