Batangas residents spend another anxious night after second quake
BATANGAS CITY — Batangas residents could be spending another long, anxious night after a strong earthquake hit the province Saturday, the second time this week.
In a text message, Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas said residents in Batangas City and nearby towns have began camping out near the provincial capitol.
In Mabini town, where the epicenter of the magnitude-5.6 quake was located, residents headed for the municipal hall grounds carrying clothes, said Rommel Panopio, a volunteer disaster responder.
“It was very strong,” Panopio said. “I was standing in my garage, about seven to eight meters away from my car and I saw how the car shook as if it was being carried by strong waves.”
He said residents were panicky as they headed to the stores in the town center to buy food supplies. Many establishments, he said, had closed after the earthquake.
Georgina Garcia, spokesperson of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon (Calabarzon), said the earthquake hit Mabini at 3:07 pm. Her office had not yet completed assessing the damage wrought by the magnitude-5.5 quake last Tuesday when another struck again.
She said reports of Saturday’s earthquake were still being collated. But they were particularly looking at major damage in Batangas and Laguna.
Although authorities have yet to report any casualties, Mandanas said landslides occurred in several parts of the province that rendered roads in Barangay Bilibinwang in Agoncillo, and in Barangays De la Paz and Ilijan in Batangas City impassable.
A landslide also occurred in a portion of Mount Maculot, a popular hiking site, in Cuenca.
Churches, hospitals damaged
The earthquake also damaged again the Taal Basilica, the facade of which was already damaged in last Tuesday’s quake.
In Batangas City, churchgoers were prevented from entering the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception after cracks were seen on its walls.
Still in Batangas City, about 500 patients were taken out of a hospital. Hospital management put up tents for them.
Governor Mandanas said cracks were also seen in the provincial jail.
In San Andres, Bauan town, one house was totally damaged and five other houses reportedly collapsed in Barangay Majuben in Mabini. Another house was also damaged in Taal.
In Tingloy, five houses were damaged, while around 400 residents were evacuated to the Tingloy Central School.
Guests at the Masasa Beach in Tingloy were evacuated to higher ground.
In Mabini, a portion of the walls of the Hotel Netanya in Barangay Ligaya had collapsed with debris hitting three cars parked outside.
The Mabini General Hospital was also damaged. /atm
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