Press Release/29 July 2019


The Department of Health (DOH) yesterday activated the Code Blue Alert in the province of Batanes and White Alert in the DOH Cagayan Valley Center for Health Development (CHD) Operations Center, rendering them on a 24-hour duty in the aftermath of the magnitude 5.9 earthquake that occurred in Itbayat, Batanes last Saturday, July 27.

More than 200 aftershocks were recorded as of today. A total of 911 families (2,963 persons) were affected in 5 barangays in Itbayat, Batanes and are currently accommodated in one (1) evacuation center at Itbayat Plaza.

A Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Team from the Mariveles Mental Hospital, headed by Dr. Ruby Lynda Reyes, will be deployed to Itbayat today. The team will board the C-130 aircraft from Clark at 9:30 AM to Basco, Batanes. The six-man team is composed of one doctor, four nurses and one social worker.

There were eight (8) deaths and sixty-three (63) injured reported in Itbayat, Batanes. Of the injured victims, six (6) severely injured were referred and are currently admitted at the Batanes General Hospital (BGH). An undetermined number of injured were also transported for further medical management from Itbayat to Manila via Philippine Airforce C-295 aircraft. Majority of the injured cases suffered trauma due to falling debris.

Of the deaths reported, six (6) were dead-on-the-spot and two (2) died at the Itbayat District Hospital.

Damage to health facilities include cracks in Itbayat’s District Hospital and its Municipal Health Office. Due to the continuous aftershocks, its District Hospital and the Rural Health Unit are no longer functional with estimated damages worth P 47,000,000.00.

An eight-man trauma team from the Cagayan Valley Medical Center was deployed yesterday composed of five doctors, one nurse, and two Health Emergency Management Staff.

Yesterday, President Rodrigo R. Duterte and some Cabinet Secretaries visited the area and conducted an aerial survey to assess the damages. The President also conducted a meeting at Basco Airport joined by both national and local representatives. Undersecretary Gerardo V. Bayugo represented Secretary Francisco T. Duque for the aforementioned activities.

As of this reporting period, a total of P 711,053.00 amount of logistics were mobilized by the Cagayan Valley CHD to Basco and Itbayat. The logistics include intravenous sets, trauma supplies, Tetenus Toxoid Vaccines (850 ampules), Anti-Tetanus Serum (830 ampules), Hygiene Kits (150), Water Purification Tablets, water containers filled with potable water (200), other essential drugs and medicines.

The DOH Cagayan Valley CHD has also placed on standby for deployment different teams for Rapid Health Assessment, Mental Health and Psychosocial, Nutrition in Emergencies, Water Sanitation and Hygiene, and Surveillance in Post Extreme Emergencies and Disasters.

Additionally, the Southern Isabela Medical Center and the Region 2 Trauma Medical Center are also ready to be deployed for augmentation in Batanes.