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SHAKE AND BLOW
Philippine earthquake creates miles-long rocky wall
by Staff Writers
Manila (AFP) Oct 24, 2013


Philippines needs $46.8 million for quake victims: UN
Manila (AFP) Oct 25, 2013 - The United Nations appealed for $46.8 million in international aid on Friday for the hundreds of thousands now living in tents after a big earthquake in the disaster-prone Philippines.

A 7.1-magnitude quake last week flattened homes, schools, clinics and other vital infrastructure killing more than 200 people.

But a further 35,000 families need emergency shelter while more than 300,000 residents of Bohol island require assistance for basic needs like water, sanitation, food, and health services for six months, UN resident humanitarian coordinator Luizha Carvalho said.

"At this moment, the Philippines is the one (country) that really stands alone with the highest of needs and the highest requirements," Carvalho told a news conference.

She said she hoped donors would still give money despite a series of recent natural and man-made disasters that also required international assistance, such as a destructive typhoon in December last year and guerrilla attacks that destroyed parts of the southern city of Zamboanga last month.

"We have a very interesting pattern of several events that are happening almost simultaneously and we still hope for the generosity of the donors," Carvalho said.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the Philippines asked donor governments and aid groups to give more on top of those already providing for survivors of Typhoon Bopha and the Zamboanga conflict.

The October 15 quake left 201 dead, along with 54,000 houses destroyed on Bohol and nearby central islands.

World Food Programme representative Praveen Agrawal said many quake survivors were still living under makeshift tents that would not stand up to heavy rain.

"We need to move fast. If we are overtaken by rains, the situation could become even more serious," he added.

Carvalho said UN aid agencies had only raised $43 million for victims of Typhoon Bopha, far short of the $76 million it originally sought to help rebuild lives after a storm that left nearly 2,000 people dead or missing in the south.

They have also raised $26 million for Zamboanga, where three weeks of fighting between government forces and Muslim rebels opposed to peace talks left more than 140 people dead, she added.

"The international community are very generous if they are able to see a good argument and a good case that is put together... and that is what we find in the Philippines," she said.

A deadly earthquake that struck the Philippines last week created a spectacular rocky wall that stretches for kilometres (miles) through farmlands, astounded geologists said Thursday.

Dramatic pictures of the Earth-altering power of the 7.1-magnitide quake have emerged as the government worked to mend the broken central island of Bohol, ground zero of the destruction.

A "ground rupture" pushed up a stretch of ground by up to three metres (10 feet), creating a wall of rock above the epicentre, Maria Isabel Abigania, a geologist at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, told AFP.

"Our people have walked five kilometres (three miles) so far and not found the end of this wall," she said, as experts from the institute surveyed the damage.

"So far we have not gotten any reports of people getting swallowed up in these cracks. The fault runs along a less-populated area."

A photograph on the institute's website showed part of the rock wall grotesquely rising on farmland behind an unscathed bamboo hut.

Another house was shown lodged in a crack of the Earth, while a big hole on the ground opened up at a banana farm.

Renato Solidum, head of the institute, said the ground fissures from the quake, which killed 198 people on Bohol and two nearby islands, were among the largest recorded since the government agency began keeping quake records in 1987.

"Most of our other quake records show a lateral (sideways) tearing of the earth, though we've also had coral reefs rising from the sea," he said, citing a 6.7-magnitude earthquake that hit the central island of Negros last year.

The Philippines lies on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire made up of chains of islands created by volcanic eruption that are also frequently hit by earthquakes.

President Benigno Aquino told reporters Thursday the institute had assured him the worst was over, though Bohol would continue to be hit by aftershocks over the next few weeks.

"There is no immediate danger" either from the aftershocks or from the ground fissures, said Aquino, who slept in an army tent there overnight Wednesday in solidarity with the survivors.

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