ADRA Assists Thousands Affected by Earthquakes in the Philippines

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Hotel crumbles after a series of earthquakes near the city of Kidapawan, Cotabato, the Philippines in October 2019. [Photo: ADRA Philippines]

Adventist humanitarian agency helps those suffering from the aftershocks.

A series of strong earthquakes hit the Philippines’ southern island of Mindanao during October 2019, and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) began response efforts immediately after the first quake. 

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake on October 16 was followed by a magnitude 6.6 quake on October 29, and another quake of magnitude 6.5 hit two days later, causing major infrastructure damage not only to the province of Cotabato, the epicenter of the quakes, but also nearby provinces with major cities like Davao.

Residents living in the area were already reeling from the effects of hundreds of aftershocks following each major quake, and now have to deal with the trauma that follows.  

After the first earthquake occurred on October 16, ADRA in the Philippines distributed 300 emergency shelter repair kits the following week in the municipality of Makilala, Cotabato, near the quake’s epicenter, for families whose homes were destroyed.   

When the second earthquake hit the morning of October 29, ADRA workers were deployed the same day to conduct assessments and facilitate the distribution of cash assistance in the city of Kidapawan on October 30.  

When the third quake hit on October 31, buildings that had been weakened by the first two earthquakes crumbled to the ground, trapping and killing 10 people. The earthquakes also caused landslides that covered homes, adding to the number of casualties in the region. As of November 4, at least 22 lives were lost, and more than 21,000 homes destroyed.

“The homes that I visited had previous cracks, and now they are gone — collapsed,” said ADRA emergency responder Jerry Requillo after the third earthquake. 

Katherine Solilapse, an ADRA emergency responder who was providing aid during the first quake, shared the news that an Adventist man she knew had lost his life in the third quake.

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