The entire Central Luzon was shaken by a magnitude 6.1 tectonic earthquake on April 22, 2019 with its epicenter located in the mountains between the provinces of Pampanga and Zambales.
Unfortunately, there are several towns in both provinces that are underlain by soft sediment due to the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, which deposited lahar in parts of Pampanga and made the area prone to strong shaking and softer soil. The reason why the Municipality of Porac in Pampanga was most affected and the shaking is amplified resulting to the collapsed of a small supermarket which killed 5 persons and injured at least 20.
Right after the shaking, an order from the NIA Central Office reached Region 3, to find out the extent of damages to irrigation dams and facilities that might affect services to farmers. Hence, same order was disclosed to all IMO Managers and Satellite Heads of NIA Region 3 for immediate and appropriate action.
Succeedingly, on the next day, the key officials of NIA Region 3 proceeded in Pampanga to attend the emergency cabinet meeting called by the President of the Republic but sadly, only the Regional Manager has a slot to attend the meeting which was held in the Conference Room of the Provincial Capitols’ Office of Pampanga.
Cause of exquisite concern, Manager, Josephine B. Salazar herself and with key officials of NIA Region 3 personally inspected the projects within the area where the epicenter of the earthquake struck.
Two successive days of inspection right under the scorching heat of the sun in the provinces of Pampanga, Bataan and Zambales and luckily there were just minor damages caused by the earthquake in some irrigation facilities.
Reports and budgetary estimates were sent to the Central Office for immediate funding so as not to worsen the damages incurred by the earthquake.
by Eliseo V. Bitangcol