Magnitude 5.5 quake leaves 51 people hurt in Surigao del Sur
Updated @ 12:38 a.m., July 14, 2019
At least 51 people were injured and a still undetermined number of buildings, homes and other structures were damaged in Surigao del Sur following a 5.5-magnitude earthquake that struck the province before dawn on Saturday.
Liza Mazo, regional director of the Office of Civil Defense-Caraga, said many of the injured and damage to properties were reported in the towns of Madrid, Lanuza, Cantilan, Carmen and Carrascal at the northern tip of the province where the epicenter was located.
In Madrid, 25 residents suffered injuries and were brought to the district hospital for treatment, said Adel de Guzman, chief of Surigao del Sur’s Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.
Caught off guard
The hospital itself was damaged as portions of its roof collapsed, De Guzman added.
“[The victims] were caught off guard. We have reports of injuries caused by toppled cabinets, broken glass and collapsing walls,” De Guzman said, noting that most of those injured were still in bed when the quake hit.
The temblor struck around 4:42 a.m. on Saturday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. The epicenter was located 9 kilometers southeast of Carrascal at a depth of 5 kilometers.
Resto tips over into river
In Cantilan town, 15 residents were injured, said engineer Ale Boy Duero, the municipal disaster risk reduction management officer.
“We are still accessing several structures. So far, we have recommended a temporary closure of a four-story inn as it sustained big cracks. We have also [seen] a damaged ceiling at Immaculate Conception Church,” Duero said.
Agence France-Presse (AFP) quoted police officer Johannes Tipon as saying that a seafood restaurant in Cantilan tipped over into a nearby river.
Dennis Herdiles, principal of Cantilan Pilot School, also reported that a 59-meter stretch of the school’s concrete fence was destroyed and several classrooms bore cracks.
Different intensities were recorded in Surigao del Sur and nearby provinces. The strongest, Intensity 6, was recorded in the towns of Carrascal, Cantilan, Carmen, Lanuza and Madrid.
It was at Intensity 4 in the cities of Surigao and Tandag also in Surigao del Sur; Gingoog City and Magsaysay town in Misamis Oriental; and Talacogon in Agusan del Sur.
It was felt at Intensity 3 in Cagwait, Surigao del Sur; Balingoan, Salay, Balingasag, Jasaan and Villanueva in Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro City; and Intensity 2 in Mambajao, Camiguin.
Mazo, who spoke to the Inquirer in Davao City, said she received a report that parts of the ceiling of a church in Carmen town had collapsed.
In Madrid town, officers at the police station ducked under tables as the glass door of a filing cabinet cracked and a television set fell to the floor and broke into pieces, Police Lt. Wilson Uanite said.
“We saw people running out of their homes. A number of houses sustained minor damage like cracked walls,” Uanite said in an interview with AFP. Patients were also evacuated briefly at Madrid District Hospital, where the walls also sustained cracks, he added.
Twelve aftershocks have been recorded as of noon Saturday, said Roniel Pacada, a project assistant at Phivolc’s seismology division.
Pacada said Phivolcs was still checking whether the quake was related to the previous Saturday’s temblor in North Cotabato province, almost 500 kilometers southwest of Surigao del Sur. —With reports from Jhesset O. Enano and AFP
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