In this picture shows government agencies under Regional Disaster Risk and Management Council are seen during their emergency meeting to assess the extent of damages in areas of Region 12 hit by magnitude 6.3 earthquake Wednesday night. (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem)

KORONADAL CITY — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) deployed Thursday quick response teams (QRTs) to assess the areas and condition of people in Central Mindanao areas hit by magnitude 6.3 earthquake on Wednesday night.

Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-12 regional director, said the agency’s four QRT will specifically validate reports of residents injured and displaced as brought about by the tremor traced 22 kilometers southeast of Tulunan town in the province of North Cotabato. 

In the town of Makilala, Dir. Espejo cited initial reports he obtained about 30 families were currently staying at the gymnasium in the village of Sto. Nino as their homes were severely damaged while 20 residents were confined in the two hospitals in Makilala due to injuries they sustained at the height of the tremor.  

“We are closely coordinating with local government units to gather accurate reports for augmentation of assistance to affected families,” Dir. Espejo said.

Currently, the agency has 30 thousand standby foodpacks ready for augmentation to local government units but according to Dir. Espejo the office will also provide financial assistance.  

The Philippines sits on the so-called Ring of Fire, a large area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where shifting tectonic plates often cause tremors, according to seismologists. (Jeoffrey Maitem and Dennis Domingo / DSWD)