By Priam Nepomuceno

QUAKE VICTIMS. Residents affected by the series of strong earthquakes that struck Surigao del Sur province stay in family tents that serve as evacuation centers at the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council – Operations Center grounds in Hinatuan town on Dec. 6, 2023. The NDRRMC on Friday (Dec. 8, 2023) said a total of 162,946 families have been affected by the tremors. (Photo courtesy of Hinatuan LGU)

MANILA – The number of families affected by the recent strong earthquakes that hit Surigao del Sur and nearby areas has climbed to 162,946, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported on Friday.

The figure is equivalent to 643,220 persons residing in 351 barangays in Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, and Caraga, according to the NDRRMC’s latest situation report.

Of this number, 3,185 families, consisting of about 7,487 individuals, are housed in 13 evacuation centers in the three regions while 39 families are with relatives or friends.

The Office of Civil Defense said the affected families include those displaced and those not needing transfer or removal from their residence.

As of this time, the NDRRMC is still validating reports of three fatalities along with 65 injured.

Two of the fatalities being confirmed are from Caraga and one from the Davao Region.

Meanwhile, 51 injured persons are being confirmed in Caraga and 14 in Davao Region.

A total of 5,294 houses were reported damaged in the three regions.

The tremors have so far caused PHP15.1 million worth of damage to agriculture and PHP14.4 million worth of damage to irrigation facilities.

Damage to infrastructure caused by the earthquakes has reached PHP137.4 million.

A magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck Surigao del Sur at 10:37 p.m. on Dec. 2, with its epicenter recorded east of Hinatuan town.

At 3:49 a.m. Monday, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck north-northeast of Cagwait, Surigao del Sur. (PNA)