The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in Negros Oriental said yesterday that the earthquake death toll has risen to 48, with 61  persons still missing, as of Tuesday.

Of the fatalities, 23 were reported in Guihulngan City, nine in La Libertad, eight in Jimalalud, three in Tayasan, two each in Ayungon and Manjuyod, and one in Bindoy, it added.

The PDRRMC also quoted Gov. Roel Degamo as saying that relief operations will continue for two more weeks.

Degamo also ordered the Provincial Engineer’s Office to immediately start the repair of damaged provincial roads in affected areas.

Meanwhile, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines yesterday said it has restored power in parts of Negros Oriental that were affected by the 6.9 magnitude tremor that hit the province and other areas in the Visayas last February 6.

Five transmission structures along the Amlan-Bindoy-Guihulngan 69kV transmission line were affected by the quake, Elmer Cruz, NGCP-Visayas Corp. Comm chief, said in a news release.

He added that NGCP resorted to using helicopters and motorcycles to reach the areas that were inaccessible to line trucks.

Linemen had to manually haul the tower materials to more accessible locations in preparation for helicopter airlifting of lightweight steel tower segments to Guihulngan City, Cruz said.*JFP