Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija – The 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division, Philippine Army is on alert after the magnitude 6.1 earthquake that hit Castillejos, Zambales and nearby provinces yesterday at 5:11 p.m.
7ID covers the area of Regions 1 and 3 that were greatly affected by the said earthquake.
Right after the flag retreat yesterday, the immediate reaction of duck, cover and hold during earthquake drills of the soldiers was automatically executed.
A magnitude 3.0 was felt at Nueva Ecija where the headquarters of 7ID is located.
The division staff immediately established emergency communication with the brigade and battalion commanders to monitor the situation within their respective areas of responsibility. Likewise, disaster response teams of line units were immediately organized, ready to be deployed at a moment’s notice.
Coordination with the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) and Disaster Risk Reduction Management Councils (DRRMC) have also been made at various levels to check what kind of assistance that the soldiers could provide to the affected communities.
According to experts, up to 100 aftershocks can occur within one to two weeks after an earthquake. Due to this, government soldiers will remain on alert status so as to immediately respond to the needs of the people.
“We are ready to deploy our force to assist the people who were affected by the earthquake. The 702nd Infantry (Defender) Brigade, together with the battalions under our unit, are in close coordination with the local government so we can provide help anytime,” said Brigadier General Henry A Robinson Jr AFP, Commander of 702Bde.
Brigadier General Rowen A Tolentino AFP, Commander of the 703rd Infantry (Agila) Brigade assured the people that the brigade and battalions which covers Central Luzon are ready to deploy more troops to help the communities. He also mentioned that the 48th Infantry (Guardians) Battalion has provided teams to help in rescue operations in the province of Pampanga.
Major General Lenard T Agustin AFP, Commander, 7ID who personally went to Porac, Pampanga today to oversee the situation, extended his condolences to the bereaved families of those who suffered from the earthquake. He also expressed his sympathy to the local government units that were hit hard by the earthquake.
“Team Kaugnay will be closely monitoring the situation. We will provide the needed security and assistance to the affected communities within our area of responsibility,” MGen Agustin added.