Davao Sur town suspends classes until Friday to assess schools after quake
DIGOS CITY –– The local chief executive of Magsaysay, Davao del Sur has ordered the suspension of classes in four schools in the town until Friday, July 12, pending evaluation of the integrity and safety of the buildings in the wake of Tuesday’s earthquake.
Mayor Arthur Davin, an engineer, said the class suspension is a preventive measure for students whose classrooms could have structural damage caused by the 5.6-magnitude tremor that hit Makilala, Cotabato in the evening of Tuesday, July 9, which also jolted Magsaysay town.
Davin disclosed that building officials, the municipal disaster risk reduction and management council and the Bureau of Fire Protection were still conducting an intensive evaluation of the buildings to ascertain that students would be safe in their classrooms.
The affected schools are Barayong National High School, Bala National High School, San Isidro National High School, Tacul Agricultural High School, and Salud Cagas Technical and Vocational High School.
Senior Fire Officer 4 Edwin Silagan was leading the post-earthquake inspection of affected buildings, including the municipal hall, where portions of the ceiling and the lighting fixtures collapsed.
Davin noted that when the 4.9-magnitude aftershock struck Wednesday morning, the students were already inside their respective classrooms and government employees were at work.
Several students of Barayong National High School were brought to the hospital for treatment of bruises as they scampered to get out of the four-story school building.
At least two town employees also lost consciousness when the aftershock occurred, according to Anthony Allada, the town’s information officer.
Davin immediately suspended classes in both public and private schools in Magsaysay on July 10 to prevent any further incident brought by another aftershock.
The mayor urged residents to stay calm and vigilant amid continued aftershocks.
Officials were also validating reports that the three-story school building of Tacul Agricultural High School in the town sustained cracks after the quake.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.