AT A GLANCE: • Davao City: No reports of casualty • Davao del Sur: 3 dead, 15 injured; Magsaysay town hall, Cor Jesu building damaged • Kidapawan City: Tremor registered intensity 7 according to Phivolcs
It was swaying and bouncing.
No, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte is not describing a dance party. It was her mental illustration of Wednesday’s 6.3 magnitude earthquake that hit Davao City and several parts of the region and Mindanao.
Mayor Sara recounted that she was at home with her children on Wednesday night when the temblor happened. She considers it the most intense she has experienced by far.
Dabawenyo netizens flooded social media minutes after the quake. Most of them agreed with the Mayor. It was Davao’s most powerful quake experience in recent memory.
“First time ko, sa buong buhay ko naka-experience ng ganoon. Nagse-sway, and nagba-bounce. Sway and bounce,” Mayor Duterte was quoted in a report posted on ABS CBN.
Tsunami panic, Chona Mae
There were no reports of casualties and damage in the city, but some people panicked after the earthquake due to rumors of a possible tsunami. In barangay Matina Aplaya, the residents panicked and ran to upper ground as a mother was shouting “tsunami, tsunami!” only to realize later that she was calling out her missing daughter whose name was “Chona Mae.”
No destructive Pacific-wide tsunami was expected after the earthquake, initially measured at 6.7, the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported.
Mayor Duterte disclosed that she told President Rodrigo Duterte the situation in Davao is under control. “So far, OK naman ang Davao City. He can rest assured na OK kami dito. Even if may problema, OK lang kami. He (the President) can focus on the other areas na may mas malaking damage,” she said.
As precautionary measure, Mayor Sara has announced the suspension of classes in all levels in public and private schools and directed her men to check on possible damages on the school buildings and other structures in the city.
All school owners, teachers and non-teaching personnel are instructed to conduct a safety inspection check with a qualified engineer in and around their structures on Thursday. However, it is only classes that are suspended, not work.
The 6.3-magnitude quake, which was tectonic in origin, occurred at 7:37 p.m. approximately 22 kilometers southeast of Tulunan town and had a depth of 15 km. The tremor registered Intensity 7 in Kidapawan City, according to Phivolcs.
Instrumental intensities were recorded in Kidapawan City (Intensity 7); Tupi, South Cotabato (Intensity 5); Kiamba, Maitum, and General Santos City (Intensity 4); Cagayan de Oro City, Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental (Intensity 3); Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental (Intensity 2); and Dipolog City (Intensity 1).
The same Phivolcs bulletin said they are expecting aftershocks and damages to properties.
The temblor sent thousands of people out of malls and high-rise buildings, according to the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.
The CDRRMO assured Dabawenyos that no tsunami alert has been raised following the earthquake.
In Magsaysay town, three persons were reported killed and 15 others injured.
In Digos City, a number of people were rushed to the Davao del Sur Provincial Hospital for various injuries from fallen objects. Some patients were also reported to have suffered from hypertension, while others simply panicked and fainted.
In General Santos, an aftershock at around 8 p.m. caused a fire at Gaisano Mall in General Santos City, according to Dr. Agripino Dacera Jr., the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) chief.
Citing information from mall personnel, Dacera said the fire originated at the furniture and plastic wares section.
Firefighters are still trying to put out the conflagration as of posting time, he added.
In North Cotabato, Acting Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza called on local government units to suspend classes so that authorities can proper assessment on the extent of damages in their respective areas.
In the North Cotabato town of Mlang, classes have been suspended by Mayor Russel Abonado, according to Vice Mayor Joselito Piñol in a Facebook post.
Piñol said public school teachers have been ordered to report to help assess the damage in their classrooms.
In the Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte, Mayor Al David Uy suspend classes at all levels for both private and public schools.
Uy said their own CDRRMO and the City Engineerings Office have been directed to conduct ocular inspections on all school buildings. (With reports from Allen Estabilo, Allan Nawal, and Alexander Lopez/PNA)