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Mayor Cagas suspends operations of 9 malls, schools in Digos City in quake aftermath

DIGOS CITY –– While small and old structures remained largely intact here, big and relatively new buildings such as malls and schools bore the brunt of the 6.3 magnitude quake that rocked Cotabato province and a large area of Mindanao on Wednesday evening.

On Friday, two days after the quake struck, City Mayor Josef Cagas ordered at least nine establishments to secure clearances from the city government before they could continue to operate after they were found to have severe or minor damage.

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Among the establishments, Cor Jesu College reported having one of its school buildings, including its superstructure, wrecked by the quake.

Almost all the major malls and department stores in the city have been cordoned off from the public, leaving only the public market, Central Convenience, and the old smaller stores, which survived the quake intact, open to the public.

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Allan Cortez, operations officer of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), said public school buildings that were also inspected remained structurally sound.

Gaisano Grand Mall on Quezon Avenue here had severe cracks on its grocery counters’ floor tiles, walling, beam plastering, according to the report by the CDRRMO.

Its glass doors and partition were also severely damaged.

Suspended operations

Cagas also suspended the operations of the Gaisano Mall of Digos, Gaisano Grand Mall, the department store Novo, Unitop, UniCity, PureGold and Market Place, and the Central Warehouse Club until they could repair their buildings and secure clearances from the city.

But an updated report by the CDRRMO submitted to the provincial governor on Friday included seven more establishments not included in the mayor’s list.

These are the Gaisano Center, 3F Happy Shoppers, Social Security System building, BDO Aurora, BPI Quezon Avenue, LYR Building and Panadero Bakery.

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CDRRMO also reported a man who was found dead on the road. The man was drunk and drove his motorcycle at the height of the people’s panic and exodus to the upper barangay Kapatagan here./lzb

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TAGS: Cotabato, Davao del Sur, Digos City, disaster, Earthquake, Joseph Cagas, malls, Philippine news updates, Schools
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