DAVAO CITY – Another strong quake shook the whole of Mindanao at Magnitude 6.6 at 9:04 am Tuesday from an epicenter located outside the town of Tulunan, North Cotabato.
Only two weeks ago, a similar strong quake, of magnitude 6.3 occurred in North Cotabato on October 16. It generated an Intensity 7 impact in the surrounding Kidapawan City, Kabacan and Makilala.
In the latest quake, cracks and damages were reported on the ground and structures among different areas: a bamboo and nipa shed beside the Magsaysay municipal town hall collapsed and crushed a line of parked motorcycles; several air-conditioning units fell off the ledge of the Magsaysay municipal hall; a crack marred the façade of the 10-storey Felcris Centrale, a mixed-use building with a call center and mall at the second floor; wide cracks were seen in many sections, some as wide as more than a foot, in Datu Montawal town, Maguindanao.
Photographs of damage were posted online a few minutes following the quake, including snapshots of students and other persons being carried on stretchers and given first aid treatments in Kabacan, North Cotabato.
The Emergency Response 911 here evacuated the occupants of the Felcris Centrale and said it treated some people for multiple injuries but its central communication office had yet to receive the exact number of the injured.
Reports said some people fainted, including students at a high school in Matina here, and those in Malita, Davao Occidental. Evacuations were also reported by hospital authorities in Kidapawan, North Cotabato.
The Philippine Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) recorded 64 aftershocks five hours later, with seven within the Magnitude range of 4 and 4.8. Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology Director Renato Solidum said the quake has an intensity 7 impact and classified as destructive.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has suspended classes in all levels again and instructed officials to check for quake-related cracks on buildings.
All government personnel in Malita were also sent home after the quake, as residents closed sari-sari, or retail, stores in the public market.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) has checked the integrity of the Davao Airport runway and has cleared it of any sign of damage.
Image credits: AP