The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) reported that the deaths from the 6.9 magnitude earthquake that hit Negros Oriental rose to 57 with 24 from Guihulngan, 14 La Libertad, 10 Jimalalud, three from Tayasan, three from Ayungon, one from Bindoy, and two from Manjuyod;  60 are still missing or believed to have been buried alive.

PDRRMC executive officer Adrian Sedillo said the toll is expected to rise as some bodies previously found in other hinterland barangays are now officially recorded by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) as long as it is in the police blotter and with death certificate.

According to PDRRMC that as of Feb 24, some 63,363 families or 316,815 persons were affected in 166 barangays from nine local government units in northern part of Negros Oriental and about 15,000 houses damaged.

The tremor caused widespread damage as it occurred at a shallow depth of 10km during lunchtime on Feb 6 as the epicenter occurred close to a coastal town of Tayasan.

With the extent of the damage, NegOr governor Roel Degamo submitted to the National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin a revised damage report on infrastructure amounting to P501.3 million.

Sedillo said, this is way lower from the earlier report submitted by Governor to Presidential Management Staff which is P665 million since the revised damage report did not anymore include national highways and bridges.

This contains provincial and barangay roads worth P35 million; spillways and minor structures of P2 million; waterworks P105 million; school buildings P251.7 million; district hospital, rural health units, barangay health system, city health office at P113.6 million.

As of press time, the relief operation center recorded P41.7 million cost of assistance  of which P24 million  ccame from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD); P12.5 million from the various local government units; and P5.1 million  from various non-government organizations and people’s organizations( NGO/POs).

With the amount 37,000 families are already served or 184,000 persons, said Sedillo. (mbcn/JCT/PIA-NegOr)