A SERIES of strong earthquakes jolted some parts of Mindanao over the weekend, prompting the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council to disseminate safety warning to the public through text messages.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs)-Northern Mindanao said the tremor started around 1:48 a.m. with magnitude 4.4 followed by a magnitude 5.4 around 4:47 a.m. on Sunday, September 24.
The quake’s epicenter is in Wao, Lanao del Sur and is tectonic in origin.
“Meaning sa tectonic is mga mugna sa local fault line,” said Phivolcs-Northern Mindanao chief Marcial Labininay.
Cagayan de Oro City felt the shake at intensity 4 and intensity 6 in Kalilangan, Bukidnon.
No damages were reported in the city and Misamis Oriental according to the local disaster risk reduction and management offices.
“Sa CDO kadtong 4:47 a.m. intensity 4 tapos kadtong pirmiro is intensity 2. Naa pud ganina mga 10:39 a.m. intensity 2 sa Wao gihapon ang epicenter,” Labininay said.
Labininay further said a magnitude 4.1 earthquake also hit Don Carlos, Bukidnon around 5:30 a.m.
Labininay said this is the third time that the municipality of Wao and the nearby towns in Bukidnon area were hit by series of quakes.
Labininay explained that there is a newly discovered fault line in Wao.
“Naay newly discovered faultline so sa pagkakaron mura siyag fertile sunod-sunod ang mga gagmayng magnitude dihang dapita. Murag third time na ni kay naa to’y 6.0 and 5.2 magnitude sa milabayng mga bulan,” Labininay said.
Labininay warned that magnitude five and above is destructive earthquake as he urged the public especially those affected by the strong shakes to be cautious and alert against further aftershocks.
“Pag magnitude 5 above tapos shallow na destructive earthquake na pero depende gihapon kay there are structures man nga makasagang sa bisan magnitude 7,” Labininay said.
“Sige pa gihapon aftershocks sa Wao busa dili ta magkumpyansa kanunay ta alerto ug magbantay ug mangandam kay basin ang laing dako nga magnitude dili na sa Wao kundili posible dinhi sa Misamis Oriental or CDO kay dili man ma-predict ang linog,” Labininay added.
Labininay said based on initial report that reached his office, about 20 houses in one of the villages in Kalilangan, Bukidnon have been totally damaged and some cracks in roads were noticed.
He said there are still two villages which have not submitted their reports as of this writing while other reports of damages in all affected areas like Wao are still being consolidated.
Labininay said the ground in Kalilangan is soft causing more damages compared to Wao town.
“Sa Wao wala kaayo damage kay medyo gahi ug batoon compared sa Kalilangan nga humok,” Labininay said.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 25, 2017.