ASEAN urges readiness to assist PH post-quake

Posted on Monday, February 6th, 2012 and is filed under ASEAN, Lead Stories, World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

JAKARTA/6 February 2012—ASEAN Secretary-General Dr Surin Pitsuwan has directed the ASEAN Secretariat and the newly-established ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance (AHA) Centre to monitor developments, and to be ready to provide assistance if required, after a major earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale struck central Philippines.

“I am sorry to learn of the seven casualties, but am relieved that the tsunami alert has now been cancelled,” said Dr Surin.

Expressing concern for the residents living around the affected areas, Dr Surin noted that Manila is still busy with the ongoing recovery efforts in light of last December’s devastating typhoon in Mindanao.

“ASEAN stands ready to rush assistance to the Philippines. We are closely monitoring the situation, and I’m sure all our fellow ASEAN Member States, as well as our Dialogue Partners, are ready to assist if necessary,” said Dr Surin, who is also ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Coordinator.

According to the Philippines’ National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), the quake hit 09.97?N, 123.14?E – 5km N 41?W of Tayasan in Negros Oriental at 11:49 am local time at a depth of 10 kilometers.  NDRRMC’S update states that aftershocks were reported and damage is expected.

The quake has centered off the heavily populated central island province of Negros Oriental, and affected other areas nearby such as Negros Occidental, Panay Island, Central Visayas Region, Bicol Region and Pagadian City in Mindanao.

Local sources said that there have been over 40 aftershocks following the first quake this morning. There have been some preventive evacuation efforts in view of the earlier tsunami alert. Since there were no further reports of unusual sea level changes after the two-hour extended observation period, the tsunami alert has now been cancelled. The NDRRMC has reported seven casualties.

The AHA Center is closely monitoring the situation in the Philippines, including the extent of damage and assistance required, in close cooperation with the NDRRMC as the ASEAN focal point for disaster management in the Philippines.  (Ref:  ASEAN Secretariat)

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