Last month, four earthquakes above Magnitude 6 struck towns of Makilala and Tulunan in North Cotabato town and neighboring town of Magsaysay in Davao del Sur between October 16 and 31: 6.3 on October 16, 6.6 and 6.1 on October 29 and 6.5 on October 31.

The powerful earthquake left a trail of destruction in these towns. At least 23,000 houses have been totally destroyed 23 persons killed and more than 400 others injured. Of the total number of houses totally destroyed, 20,000 of which are in Makilala alone. [Read PHIVOLCS primer here]

As of today, thousands are languishing  in different evacuation centers while some are sleeping in tents outside their destroyed houses. And some prefer to sleep in tents, even if their houses were not damaged, but because of trauma.

The earthquake survivors are in need of food, medicine, water, tents and school supplies for school children.

It took Francisco Quidato almost three years to build his house from his income as a farmer and oftentimes, half of the P3,200 cash he receives from 4Ps. But in about 20 seconds, the magnitude 6.3 #earthquake on October 16 reduced his house into rubble. ( Purok 6, Brgy. Malawanit / 17 October 2019)

Two persons were killed here after a portion of this mountain collapsed in Barangay Malawanit, Magsaysay, Davao del Sur.

About 50 villagers from Barangay Malawanit in Magsaysay, Davao del Sur sought shelter under these mango trees near an elementary school. According to them, they feel much safer under these trees than inside the classrooms.

Salud Cagas Technical and Vocational High School in Magsaysay, Davao Del Sur.

According to the villagers, this newly-finished house is owned by an OFW, who is suppose to occupy when he comes home.

Children sought shelter in a hut in Barangay Bacungan, Magsayaysay, Davao del Sur.

Destroyed house in Barangay Kisante, Makilala, North Cotabato.

Tension cracks in Barangay Kisante, Makilala, North Cotabato.

A man prepares meal for a cluster of families Barangay Kisante, Makilala, North Cotabato.

Patients temporarily moved outside the hospital in Bansalan, Davao del Sur. ( 30 October 2019)

A portion of Davao-Cotabato highway in Barangay Batasan in Makilala has collapsed due to strong tremor.

Displaced residents in Makilala.

But life goes on for these farmers in Bansalan, Davao del Sur amid the aftershocks.

Built about 10 years ago, Eva’s hotel has become the face of destructive earthquake that hit Kidapawan City.

Sr. Wilma Gumat shows an empty altar of Holy Family Parish in Barangay Bulakanon, Makilala, North Cotabato. She recalled that they were having a mass when the earthquake struck. The parishioners scampered for safety

Sr. Wilma Gumat shows the religious images temporarily moved outside of the Holy Family Parish after it sustained cracks when the earthquake hit Barangay Bulakanon, Makilala, North Cotabato.

Makilala town’s water system was badly damaged by the earthquake. Residents said the main line sustained damage due to series of tremors.

Tent city. Dozens of families from earthquake-stricken barangays are now staying under these makeshift tents inside the Bulakanon Elementary School in Makilala, North COtabato.

A resident appears to be shocked while showing the extent of damage of his house in Barangay Concepcion, Makilala.

Scenes like this are common in many of the earthquake-stricken areas.

Volunteers from Assumption College of Davao provide pyschosocial intervention among the children at the evacuation camp in Barangay Malasila.

An evacuee prepares food outside their tents in Malasila evacuation camp.

Amid uncertainties, it’s all smiles for earthquake survivors Gabriel Edo and Helen Lumayon. Botth are from Barangay Luayon, one of the four villages in Makilala, North Cotabato that has been declared as “no build zones” due to risk of landslides.

Good samaritans continue to deliver aid to earthquake-hit areas.

Malasila evacuation center.

Soldiers and police personnel unload water containers and other relief aid items from the Philippine Air Force’s C-130 cargo plane at the Tactical Operations Wing Eastern Mindanao base in Davao City.

Volunteers prepare assorted relief aid donated by the Tanging Yaman Foundation at the Ateneo de Davao University in Davao City. The relief aid will be distributed to earthquake-stricken communities in Davao del Sur and North Cotabato.

As of this writing, the local government has yet to find relocation sites for the villagers who could no longer return to their places of origin. The road to recovery will be long and arduous.