THE National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has declared the Northern Mindanao, Davao, Soccskargen regions under red alert status following the strong earthquake that rocked the municipality of Sarangani in Davao Occidental on Saturday, April 29.

Leoncio Cirunay, regional director of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD), said that as of 3 p.m, no aftershocks were yet reported by the City and Municipal RRMC to their office.

He added that although the epicenter was 53 kilometer southwest of Sarangani, Davao Occidental, there were no casualties or damages because the quake has a depth of 57 kilometers under the sea and was tectonic in origin.

Cirunay said that they had already declared Davao Region under red alert status even before the earthquake happened because of the expected arrival of Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Sunday, April 30, in Davao City.

The red alert status means that all the member agencies under the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC) will be activated to prepare for possible deployment in case of any untoward incident.

Cirunay said OCD continues to maximize coordination with other concerned agencies and monitoring is being undertaken round-the-clock in preparation for the series of aftershocks following the magnitude 7.3 earthquake that hit Saturday dawn.

"Likewise, RDRRMCs concerned are also directed to raise their respective operations center to Blue/Red alert Status to continuously monitor their areas of respective situation reports and response actions to the NDRRM Operations Center," NDRRMC said in their advisory.

The highest intensity was felt in General Santos City; Koronadal City; Santa Maria, Jose Abad Santos, Don Marcelino, Balut Island, Davao Occidental; Polomolok, Tupi, South Cotabato; Alabel, Malapatan, Glan, Sarangani; and Palimbag, Sultan Kudarat at Intensity 5.

Intensity 4 quake was felt in Davao City, Cotabato City and Zamboanga City while Intensity 3 hit Cagayan De Oro City and Intensity 2 in Kidapawan City.

Meanwhile, Cirunay called on Dabawenyos to apply their knowledge about disaster management obtained in earthquake drills when a similar incident happens to ensure their safety and to stay alert and vigilant in their surroundings.