Those killed by several earthquakes in northern Philippines today amounted to 9, according to official figures, considering a 32-year-old man disappeared since the earthquake.
It is believed that Edwin Ponce's body is trapped in a difficult-to-reach cave, but rescue teams hope to recover their remains today, after the weekend had to suspend work several times because of earthquake aftershocks.
"The rescuers of the Philippine Air Force tried to find the body alive on Saturday and Sunday, but they had to stop yesterday afternoon because it was too dangerous to carry out the operation. That is why today, it is no longer considered an operation rescue, but search of the body, "Raul de Sagon, mayor of Itbayat, city most affected by earthquakes, told local media.
Several earthquakes between 5.9 and 5.4 hit the province of Batanes on Saturday morning, an archipelago located in the northern tip of the Philippines, causing nine deaths and 63 wounded.
Nearly 3,000 families have had to leave their homes because of the risk that one of the more than 200 seismic aftershocks would reach sufficient magnitude and destroy their homes.
Some of those aftershocks reached an earthquake range, with a magnitude of up to 3.2, reported Phivolcs, the national institute that monitors the activity of volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis.
Families still remain refugees in tents located in Itbayan Square, where 15 houses, two schools, a hospital and a health center collapsed.
The National Council for Disaster Reduction today estimated damages to public property caused by the two earthquakes at 47 million pesos (about $ 921,000 or 828,000 euros).
The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, went to Batanes the day before to conduct an aerial inspection of the area to assess the level of destruction.
After a meeting with local and national authorities, the president assigned 40 million pesos (780,000 dollars or 700,000 euros) for the construction of a new hospital in Itbayat.
The Philippines sits on the so-called 'Ring of Fire of the Pacific', an area of great seismic and volcanic activity that is shaken by about 7,000 tremors a year, mostly moderate.
Last April, at least 11 people died after a supermarket collapsed after a 6.1 earthquake in the province of Pampanga, in the center of Luzon Island, about 80 kilometers north of Manila.
. (tagsToTranslate) Ascended (t) dead (t) several (t) earthquakes (t) Philippines