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Several Mindanao cities, towns suspend classes after quake

DAVAO CITY, Davao del Sur, Philippines — Local officials called off classes in the cities of Davao, Cotabato and Cotabato province to allow engineers to check the integrity of buildings following a 6.3 magnitude quake that jolted a large sweep of Mindanao at 7:37 p.m. Wednesday.

All classes in public and private schools in Davao City — from kindergarten to post-graduate studies — are hereby suspended tomorrow, Thursday,” Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said in a statement.

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She said the quake might have caused structural and electrical damage to buildings and houses. So she ordered school owners, teachers and school personnel to subject school structures to a safety inspection with a qualified engineer.

If they find building defects that are dangerous and need repair, they should immediately condemn the area and not allow students to use it,” she said.

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In Cotabato City, Mayor Frances Cynthia Guiani Sayadi ordered all classes suspended to give way to an inspection of all school buildings in the city.

In Digos City, photos of people wounded from the smashed walls of buildings were shared on social media.

Earlier, acting Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza urged Cotabato town mayors to call off classes to allow authorities to check on the extent of the quake damage.

“In the light of the recent strong earthquake that struck other parts of Cotabato province, the provincial government calls all affected LGUs to cause the suspension of classes tomorrow, Oct. 17, to conduct a proper assessment on the extent of damages in their respective areas,” Taliño-Mendoza said in a statement.

Among the units that have suspended classes in the province are Kidapawan City, Makilala, Mlang, Tulunan, Kabacan, President Roxas, Pikit, Matalam, Magpet and Arakan towns.

—With reports from Eldie Aguirre, Williamor Magbanua

/atm

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