Mayor orders evacuation of quake hit areas in Davao del Sur town
DIGOS CITY, Davao del Sur, Philippines – Mayor Arthur Davin of Magsaysay town ordered the forced evacuation of residents of Sitio Labidangan in Barangay Upper Bala after the discovery of large fissures on its largely sloping ground following the magnitude 6.3 earthquake that hit Cotabato province on Wednesday.
Davin issued Executive Order No. 72 on Friday, Oct. 18, asking municipal police chief Capt. Jeffmar Tercero and Upper Bala village officials to evacuate residents in the area facing threats of landslides should heavy rains occur.
Davin heeded the recommendations of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) and of Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) experts who were here to assess the extent of the damage.
Davin’s order also included the village of Malawanit, where huge ground cracks triggered a landslide during the quake, causing the death of a 22-year old mother and her nine-month-old child.
Davin said 70 families in Sitio Labidangan in Upper Bala and 58 families in Malawanit had been identified as among the most vulnerable.
Anthony Allada, Magsaysay town information officer, said police and village officials had persuaded residents to leave. Residents were ferried to safer ground, where they were assisted by the local government.
The quake has caused three deaths and displaced some 1,500 people in Magsaysay town. After the recent assessment that pegged the total quake damage at P200 million, the Magsaysay Municipal Council declared the entire town under state of calamity.
The town hall building also showed considerable damage that needed immediate repair, said Vice Mayor Donnabelle Joy Mejia.
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