Monday, July 22, 2019

M6.5 quake hits Samar, affects Leyte, Cebu

LEYTE. Employees of the Department of Education Leyte Division evacuate their office after the magnitude 6.5 earthquake that hit Eastern Samar and affected several areas in the Visayas. (Photo courtesy of Bee Leng Lo)

CEBU (Updated) -- State seismologists have raised the magnitude of the earthquake that hit Eastern Samar at 1:37 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, from 6.2 to 6.5.

The USGS recorded it at magnitude 6.6.

The quake, which was tectonic in origin and had a depth of 17 kilometers, had its epicenter located northwest of San Julian, Eastern Samar, said the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

It was followed by four more tremors, with the latest having a magnitude 4.6 and centered northeast of Catbalogan, Samar.

Residents in San Julian, Eastern Samar felt the magnitude 6.5 quake at Intensity 6.

Intensity 5, meanwhile, was felt in Tacloban City; Catbalogan City, Samar; General McArthur, Salcedo and Guiuan, Eastern Samar; Naval, Biliran; Catarman, Northern Samar; Palo and Pastrana, Leyte.

Intensity 4 was felt in Abuyog, Hilongos, Javier, Capoocan, Julieta, Baybay, Barogo, Jaro, MacArthur, Matalum, Villaba, Leyte; San Francisco, Southern Leyte; Bislig City, Surigao Del Sur; Iloilo City; Naga City; Sorsogon City; and Panganiban, Catanduanes.

Intensity 3 was felt in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental; Cabalian, Southern Leyte; Dimasalang, Masbate; Butuan City; and Cabadbaran City.

In Bago City and Bacolod City, residents felt the quake at Intensity 2.

Instrumental intensities were also reported in the following areas:

* Intensity VI - Catbalogan, Samar;

* Intensity IV - Masbate City, Masbate;

* Intensity III - Legazpi City; Iriga City, Camarines Sur; Ormoc City; Argao City, Cebu; Bogo City, Cebu; Surigao City;

* Intensity II - Passi City, Iloilo; Malinao, Aklan; Jamindan, Capiz; Roxas City; Talibon, Bohol; San Francisco, Cebu; Gingoog City; Mulanay, Quezon; Bago City, Negros Occidental; Daet, Camarines Norte

* Intensity I - Tapaz, Capiz; Sipocot, Camarines Sur; Lapu-lapu City; La Carlota City

The Phivolcs said damage and aftershocks are expected, but its director, Renato Solidum, said the quake will not trigger a tsunami.

SEE INFOGRAPHIC: Earthquake magnitude vs intensity

In Eastern Samar, Provincial Tourism Officer Franklin Robedizo said the quake was "so strong that it shakes all buildings and shocks people from all locations."

Governor Marcelo Picardal, who was just installed as governor Tuesday morning, April 23, said that rescue teams were dispatched to check the effects of the quake.

He also declared a suspension of work at the Capitol, so employees can check their respective household and families.

"Ongoing pa assessment. Merong reported damage ng road in San Julian. Ang bell tower ng simbahan bumagsak," said Robedizo.

No casualty has been reported in Eastern Samar as of 3 p.m. Tuesday.

READ: Do’s and Don’ts when disaster strikes

In Tacloban City, Mayor Cristina Romualdez suspended work at the City Hall. She also dispatched the city rescue units.

Assessment on infrastructure around the city is being conducted.

In Cebu, the tremor sent some employees of government offices and private companies rushing outside in panic.

Employees of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Central Visayas also evacuated their building after the quake.

In Bacolod City, people also evacuated some hotels and buildings.

In Panabacdao, Samar, a Clemacor bus bound for Tacloban City from Catbalogan City reportedly fell on its side during the shaking.

Tuesday's tremor occurred just a day after a 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit Zambales and affected several areas in Luzon, including Metro Manila.

As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, 11 fatalities have been reported. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said 81 were injured and 24 remained missing. (LMY/With Ronald Reyes/SunStar Philippines)


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