TWO persons died and 56 houses were damaged in Ormoc City after a magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck Leyte province early Wednesday morning, August 23.
The quake, whose epicenter was located five kilometers northeast of Albuera, Leyte, struck at 6:26 a.m. Wednesday, said the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
Ormoc City Police Deputy Director for Operations Superintendent Elma delos Santos said that confirmed dead were Maria Contreras Colasito, 51, from Barangay Naungan, and Rosita Baloro, 70, of Barangay San Jose.
He said Colasito fell on the ground and got unconscious while trying to run outside the house during the quake, while Baloro died due to heart attack.
Both were declared dead upon arrival in the hospital.
In Altavista village in Ormoc City, 56 houoses were slightly damaged, said the Philippine National Police.
The Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) also confirmed reports of damaged buildings in other areas, but they are still consolidating reports as of Wednesday noon.
“The earthquake was felt most in Ormoc. We are awaiting official reports on casualties if any,” said OCD Eastern Visayas Regional Director Edgar Posadas.
National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council spokesperson Romina Marasigan said they are still checking on the other effects of the earthquake, which was felt strongest in Ormoc City at Intensity 5.
Classes in all levels were also suspended in Ormoc City following the tremor.
An assessment meeting headed by Ormoc Acting Mayor Benjamin Pongos Jr. was held immediately after the quake.
The tremor was also felt in Pastrana, Leyte, at Intensity 4; and Tacloban City and Palo, Leyte, at Intensity 3. Instrumental intensities were felt in Cebu City at Intensity 1 and Ormoc City at Intensity 6.
In a press statement, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said that power transmission services remain stable despite the quake.
“The grid remains intact as there had been no reported cases of power interruptions,” the NGCP said.
Albuera town is located within the Central Leyte Fault line stretching from Villalon village in Calubian, Leyte, and ending in San Francisco, Southern Leyte. It is near the town of Kananga, which was badly hit by the 6.5 magnitude earthquake that struck Leyte on July 6.
The active fault line forms part of the 1,200-kilometer long Philippine Fault Zone, which extends throughout the country.
Here's an infographic on earthquake magnitude and intensity scale:
(With PNA/SunStar Philippines)