‘All of us were pushing each other toward the exit’
KORONADAL CITY—Dante Maquiling, a journalist, was at KCC Mall movie house on Wednesday evening when debris fell as the 6.3-magnitude tremor struck east of Tulunan in Cotabato province.
“There was panic. People ran to different directions, and I ran to the door only to find more people there,” Maquiling said.
The quake was felt in a large portion of Mindanao.
Stefanie Bas, an employee of KCC Mall, was still trembling as she recalled her ordeal on the fourth floor of the building.
“When the shaking started, I decided to sit down, but my colleagues urged me to run. In a short while, power went out,” she said.
“It was at this point that I was so horrified because I could not see anything … [but] I could clearly hear glass doors and dividers breaking and some of the glass shards landing near us.”
“All of us were pushing each other toward the exit. Mobile phones of customers gave us light,” Bas said.
Edra Sebastian, a student of Ramon Magsaysay Memorial School on Alunan Avenue here, said she was also on the fourth floor at the time.
“I ran to the stairway but fell,” Sebastian said, showing her bruises.
She and 14 others were taken to the South Cotabato provincial hospital for treatment and were later discharged.
In Kidapawan City, the quake caused a stampede in the cathedral where at least four people were hurt.
Stampede in cathedral
Some 2,000 parishioners were present during the three-hour Mass and dedication rites of the renovated Our Lady Mediatrix of All Graces Cathedral when, at the recessional, the temblor struck.
People ran toward the doors, causing the stampede.
In General Santos City, an employee of Gaisano Mall said almost all of the employees ran out of the building “because the shaking was unbearable.”
A salesclerk, Shierlyn Astorias, said she and several other workers escaped through the fire exit.
The 18-hour fire started in an area hosting kitchen utensils at the mall’s old building, according to Astorias.
In Cagayan de Oro City, the quake disrupted the signing of a sisterhood agreement between the city and Imus, Cavite. Hotel staff told the guests to get out of a hotel function room.
“At first, I thought there were pieces of confetti that fell from the chandelier. I thought it was part of the program. But later, I saw that the lamps on the ceiling were swaying. Everybody paused. Then we realized it was an earthquake,” said Isabelle Czarina Soriano, a city employee.
Psalmer Bernalte, Kidapawan disaster management officer, said a woman suffered a miscarriage.
“It appeared that she was shocked and terrified,” Bernalte said in a radio interview.
He said residents in the upland village of Ilomavis were moved to safer ground after local officials noticed rocks as large as coffee mugs falling from the mountain when the ground shook.
Ilomavis is on the slope of Mt. Apo, the country’s highest mountain. —WITH REPORTS FROM WILLIAMOR MAGBANUA AND JIGGER J. JERUSALEM