Phivolcs chief: Brace for more aftershocks

ORMOC CITY -- The Department of Science and Technology Undersecretary and Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philvolcs) Director Renato Solidum advised residents in Leyte to expect more aftershocks following the 6.5-magnitude tremor on July 6.

As of 4 p.m. Sunday, a total of 600 aftershocks were recorded by Philvocs.

The aftershock magnitudes range from 1.5 to 4.3, but the one that hit Ormoc Monday morning, July 10, was the strongest, at magnitude 5.8.

“We are expecting aftershocks in the coming days, this will not stop and time to time aftershock will be felt in this area,” said Solidum.

To ensure the safety of residents in affected areas, Solidum said the local government unit (LGU) concerned must not allow the people to go back to their old, damaged houses.

Solidum said the LGU must strictly implement the Building Code of the Philippines and ensure that building permit applicants would follow the building specifications to ensure the people's safety.

He said that for LGU with areas identified as danger zones, such as those within fault line and landslide-prone areas, residents must be relocated to safer areas.

Tongonan village in Ormoc and Lim-ao in Kananga are some of the areas located along the fault line and are prone to landslides.

In Lim-ao village alone, 73 families need to be relocated, after most of the houses were damaged by the July 6 tremor.

Other areas considered in danger zones are the villages of Kabanao-an, Milagro, Lake Danao, Gaas and Liberty in Ormoc City, and Rizal in Kananga town.

Solidum also noted that after the magnitude 5.8 earthquake Monday, some people rushed out of the Ormoc City Hall building while the ground was shaking.

“We have to emphasize that the right way of coming out of the building is when the strong quake had stopped. Injuries happened when people are panicking and running while the ground is shaking, that is why you must always remember to first 'Drop, then Hold and Cover' and wait for the earthquake to stop before going out of the building,” Solidum said. (PNA)
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