Over 31,400 displaced due to quakes in Philippines

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Manila, Nov 4 (IANS) More than 31,400 people have been displaced from their homes by the two massive earthquakes measuring 6.6 and 6.5 on the Richter Scale that jolted Mindanao Island in the Philippines last week, the government said on Monday.

The earthquakes left 22 dead, two missing and more than 400 injured, reports Efe news.

Some 24,000 of those displaced have been housed in evacuation centre in the most severely affected provinces, especially Cotabato and Davao Sur, while another 7,465 have taken shelter with friends and family, according to data released by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

In the affected areas, 29,377 houses were damaged, 21,064 of them totally destroyed, according to the department, which has released 11 million pesos ($218,000) to assist the affected families, reports Efe news.

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Risk Management and Reduction Council added a new victim to the number of deaths caused by earthquakes and pegged the number of injured at 424.

A magnitude-6.5 earthquake struck the southern Philippines on October 31, just two days after another one of magnitude-6.6 in the same area, near the city of Tulunan, Cotabato, which suffered the most damage along with Kidapawan and Makilala.

On October 16, the same area was struck by another 6.4-magnitude earthquake – once again with the epicenter in Tulunan – that left seven dead and 200 injured.

The Philippines is located along the Ring of Fire, a region of high volcanic and seismic activity that is shaken every year by some 7,000 quakes, most of them moderate.

–IANS

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