Classes, work suspended as quake jolts Mindanao
Updated @ 1:05 a.m., July 11, 2019
KIDAPAWAN CITY, Cotabato, Philippines — While no casualty was reported from the 5.6-magnitude earthquake that struck off Makilala town in Cotabato province on Tuesday night, several buildings in the province and nearby Davao del Sur were damaged by the ground shaking, an initial assessment made by local governments and disaster response agencies showed.
As a precautionary measure, classes in all levels were suspended in Davao del Sur, in Kidapawan City and several towns in Cotabato.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) recorded Tuesday’s temblor at 8:37 p.m., with its epicenter located some 20 kilometers southwest of Makilala and at a depth of 14 kilometers.
Phivolcs said the quake, which was tectonic in origin, was felt at Intensity 5 in Kidapawan City, Cotabato; Koronadal City, South Cotabato; and Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur.
Residents of Davao City felt the quake at Intensity 4, just like in the towns of Polomolok, Tupi, Tampakan, Sto. Niño and Quirino; and Tacurong City, in Sultan Kudarat province; and Glan and Malungon towns in Sarangani.
In Kidapawan City, Mayor Joseph Evangelista called off work in the local government for Wednesday when cracks were discovered in the three-story City Hall, particularly along the second floor hallway.
Evangelista’s decision was prompted by the 4.9-magnitide aftershock that jolted Makilala at 8:56 a.m. Wednesday.
He ordered local government engineers to check on the structure to ensure that employees were safe.
In Mlang town, an inspection done by disaster response officials noted cracks in “most buildings” of Mlang National High School and Nuvabida High School, said municipal information officer Hernand Dapudong.
The ceiling of the Salud Cagas Technical and Vocational School in Magsaysay, Davao del Sur, collapsed.
The Magsaysay town hall was also damaged by the quake. Apart from cracks on the walls, parts of its ceiling and its lighting fixtures caved in.
Magsaysay Mayor Arthur Davin suspended work in the local government for Wednesday.
In Davao del Sur, Gov. Douglas Cagas issued an executive order suspending classes in all levels throughout the province.
Classes were also suspended in Kidapawan City and in the Cotabato towns of Magpet, Makilala, President Roxas, Mlang, Tulunan, Arakan and Antipas.
On Wednesday, the Cotabato provincial capitol in Kidapawan City, was closed to the public, and work was suspended for the day to give way to inspections.
The class suspensions in Mlang and Magpet towns were triggered by the 4.9-magnitude aftershock Wednesday morning.
In Magpet town, Mayor Florenito Gonzaga eventually suspended classes after a clamor from parents and teachers.
The aftershock sent patients at Kidapawan Doctor’s Hospital and Midway Hospital scampering for safety.
Most of the patients went out of their rooms and stayed beside the highway. Twelve hours earlier, during the main tremor, they also evacuated and stayed outside the hospital.
The Kidapawan city government opened the city gymnasium on Wednesday to serve as temporary shelter for the patients.
According to Hermes Daquipa, Philvolcs field observation officer in charge in Kidapawan City, some 140 aftershocks were recorded following the main tremor.
As of Wednesday morning, only 11 of these were felt, while 54 were plotted or located by monitoring stations, said Phivolcs science research assistant Roschel Ablan. The magnitudes of the weaker temblors ranged from 1.7 to 4.9. —With reports from Taher Solaiman and Jhesset Enano
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