On 16th, 29th, and 31st of October 2019, a series of strong earthquakes jolted Cotabato province with magnitude 6.3,
6.6, and 6.5 respectively. The epicenter was located east of Tulunan municipality, Cotabato. The municipalities of Tulunan and Makilala, and the City of Kidapawan were among the areas that were greatly affected.
Due to consecutive occurrences of earthquake, severe damage to and destruction of houses, private and government infrastructures were reported as well as scores of casualties. Government institutions have mobilized their resources to provide aid to the victims. Non-government organizations conducted assessment and response activities, and private institutions and individuals donated relief assistance.
As of the reporting period, there are several displaced families who have returned to their habitual residences following the decline in number of the aftershocks. While some are still temporary settled at the evacuation centers or have built makeshifts outdoors near their destroyed houses. They are hesitant to return because of the agony brought by the strong earthquake and its persistent aftershocks and that their houses have been destroyed. They are afraid of being trapped because of hearsays that a big tremor is expected to occur.
The following are the express needs of the IDPs based on the results of the monitoring conducted by the CFSI:
• replacement of the dilapidated plastic tarpaulin;
• augmentation of drinking water supply and domestic use and setting up of additional water tanks in evacuation centers;
• conduct of psychosocial sessions for children in evacuation centers that are not covered by the psychosocial session program;
• support to children who have stopped attending classes in schools; and • provision of food to families who have returned and whose means of livelihood have been disrupted.
The displacement sites covered in the monitoring are as follows:
• Kidapawan City: evacuation centers in barangays Meohao and Sudapin
• Makilala: Captain Romero Base Camp, MIST Compound,Bulakanon Elementary School, Santos Land IDP Camp, GSP, Kisante Elementary School, Malabunan Evacuation Center;
• Magpet: IDPs in host families in barangays Kinarum, Bongolano, Magkaalam, and Kisandal; and
• Mlang: IDPs in host families in barangays Nueva Vida, Luz Village, Bagintapay; and evacuation cenetrs in barangays New Esperanza and Lipaga.