Last Saturday, 27 Jul 2019, news of a strong Batanes earthquake devastating the municipality of Itbayat shook the county. The 5.4 quake hit Itbayat island at 4.16am, with another tremour — a 5.9 earthquake — following just hours later a little past 7am.
Since the ‘twin quakes’, a whopping 230 aftershocks were reported by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Monday.
Batanes earthquake aftermath
A total of nine fatalities were recorded from the Batanes earthquake, as well as 60 people injured. Retrieval operations in Itbayat ceased Monday when the last missing person’s remains were finally found on the outskirts of the town.
Several homes (especially the traditional limestone houses of the Ivatan people) and public structures were also destroyed by the Batanes earthquake — some damaged beyond repair. The belfry of the historical Sta Maria de Mayan church in Itbayat even toppled to the ground after the twin quakes evidently weakened the structure.
NDRRMC also confirmed that about 2,963 individuals were affected by the Batanes earthquake. Several families have been forced to evacuate their homes and seek temporary shelter in the town plaza, where tents have been set up for the families displaced by the Batanes earthquake.
So how can we help?
You might come across several relief operations seeking to provide assistance to those devastated by the recent Batanes earthquake, but a group of talented Filipino photographers lets you help rebuild Batanes one photograph print at a time.
Bayanihan para sa Batanes is “a collaborative effort by photographers to provide monetary & in-kind assistance to the victims of Itbayat earthquake” through the sale of their printed works. According to the photographers behind the movement, “The rich culture of Batanes has inspired countless photographers. This is their way of giving back to the loving and resilient Ivatans”.
If you want to pitch in and participate in #BayanihanParaSaBatanes, follow these easy steps.
Simply visit their Facebook page, browse through their albums which double as photo catalogues, pick a photo (or photos!), and contact the photographer to finalise the sale.
Bayanihan Para sa Batanes is very transparent about money matters, so most photo captions already indicate how much of the proceeds will go to Batanes rehabilitation efforts.
Here are a few beautiful captures included in this creative relief effort:
Also read: Batanes – The Home of the Winds (Part 1)
Our thoughts and prayers to breathtaking Batanes and to our Ivatan brothers and sisters who call it home. In the meantime, why don’t you browse Bayanihan pasa sa Batanes’ photo collection? Give back and get something to keep the home of the winds close.