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1990 Luzon earthquake

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Author Topic: 1990 Luzon earthquake  (Read 580 times)
Lisa Wolfe
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« on: July 23, 2010, 01:26:39 pm »

The earthquake caused damage within in an area of about 20,000 square kilometers, stretching from the mountains of the Cordillera Administrative Region and through the Central Luzon region. The earthquake was strongly felt in Metropolitan Manila, leading to panic and stampedes and ultimately three deaths in the National Capital Region,[4] one of the lowest fatalities recorded in the wake of the tremor.

Baguio City, Benguet
The popular tourist destination of Baguio City, situated over 5000 feet above sea level, was among the areas most hardest hit by the Luzon earthquake. The earthquake caused the collapse of 28 buildings, including hotels, factories, government and university buildings, as well as many private homes and establishments.[5] The quake destroyed electric, water and communication lines in the city.[6] The main vehicular route to Baguio, Kennon Road, as well as other access routes to the mountain city were shut down due to landslides, and it took three days before enough landslide debris was cleared to allow access by road to the stricken city.[6] Baguio City was isolated from the rest of the Philippines for the first 48 hours after the quake. Damage at Loakan Airport rendered access to the city by air limited through helicopters.[6] American & Philippine Air Force C-130s did evacuate many residents from this airport. Many city residents, as well as patients confined in hospital buildings damaged by the quake were forced to stay inside tents set up in public places, such as in Burnham Park, or in the streets. Looting of department stores in the city was reported.[7]

Among the first rescuers to arrive at the devastated city were miners from Benguet Corporation, who focused on rescue efforts at the collapsed Hotel Nevada.[8] Teams sent by the Philippine government and by foreign governments and agencies likewise participated in the rescue and retrieval operations in Baguio City.

One of the more prominent buildings destroyed was the Hyatt Terraces Hotel where at least eighty hotel employees and guests were killed. However, three hotel employees were pulled out alive after having been buried under the rubble for nearly two weeks, and after international rescue teams had abandoned the site convinced there were no more survivors.[9] Luisa Mallorca and Arnel Calabia were extricated from the rubble 11 days after the quake, while hotel cook Pedrito Dy was recovered alive 14 days following the earthquake.[10] All three survived in part by drinking their own urine[10] and in Dy's case, rainwater.[8] Dy's 14-day ordeal was cited as a world record for entombment underneath rubble.[9]This has since been exceeded by Darlene Etienne, a 15 year-old survivor of the 2010 Haitian earthquake who was rescued alive after 15 days..[17]

The United States Agency for International Development was sponsoring a seminar at the Hotel Nevada when the tremor struck, causing the hotel to collapse. 27 of the seminar participants, including one American USAID official were killed in the quake.[5] Among those who died at the Hotel Nevada was Alice Laya, wife of Jaime Laya who served as Central Bank Governor and Minister of Education in the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos. Among those who were pulled out alive from the rubble of the Hotel Nevada was Sonia Roco, who was pulled out from the rubble after 36 hours by miners.[11]. The wife of then-Congressman Raul Roco, who would run for the Philippine presidency in 1998 and 2004, Sonia Roco herself would unsuccessfully run for the Philippine Senate in 2007.[12]

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