DAVAO CITY – A shallow but strong earthquake occurred offshore Surigao del Sur in the Pacific Ocean, rocking most of eastern Mindanao and eastern Visayas on late Saturday night.
A woman resident in Tagum City, Davao del Norte died when a cement wall crumbled and crushed her.
A tsunami alert was issued immediately warning of waves that could reach at least one meter high. The highest registered wave was 0.64 meters or about two feet that hit Mawes Island in HInatuan.
The earthquake occurred at 10.37 pm Saturday, 29 kilometers northeast of the earthquake monitor in the town of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur. It was tectonic in origin with a depth of 26 kilometers. Initial reports from the US Geological Survey measured it at magnitude 7.7 and the Philippine Volcanology and Seismology scaled it down to magnitude 6.9.
It corrected it anew by Sunday morning and scaled it up to magnitude 7.4, making it one of the strongest to hit the county.
The temblor was felt at intensity 7 in the Surigao del Sur capital of Tandag and could be felt as far as Borongan, Eastern Samar and Palo in Leyte in the Visayas. The Tagum City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said a woman resident died when the wall of her house fell on her during the quake. It also posted pictures of the damaged portion of the house. A saleslady was treated for abrasions in her right knee when canned goods and other items fell off from the shelves. Some 300 residents along the coastline of Mati City, Davao Oriental were also ferried to designated evacuation centers in Golden Valley, provincial capitol and Matiao National High School because of the tsunami warning, the Mati CDRRMO said. The warning was lifted by 3:00 am Sunday. The Mati CDRRMO said several aftershocks were still occurring, the strongest of which was measured at magnitude 6.2 at 1:40 am on Sunday.
Image credits: AP/Ivy Marie Mangadlao