Phivolcs: M6.6 quake stronger, wider in scope

DAVAO. Cracks were noticed on the Felcris Centrale building after the magnitude 6.6 earthquake that was felt at intensity 6 in Davao City on October 29, 2019. (Photo by Rob Gumba/SunStar Davao)

DABAWENYOS rushed out of buildings and sought safety in open spaces after a powerful tectonic earthquake, which was felt at intensity 6 in Davao City, struck near Tulunan, Cotabato for the second time in two weeks.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the quake had a magnitude of 6.6 and a depth of only seven kilometers. It was plotted around 25 kilometers southeast of Tulunan, Cotabato at 9:04 a.m. Tuesday, October 29, 2019.

Phivolcs initially reported a magnitude 6.4 earthquake, but revised this to 6.6 in an updated bulletin.

“Meron din kasing pumapasok na data from the field. Intially yung kinuhang data was para makadisseminate ng info sa public (There were information that is coming from the field. Initially, the data was for information dissemination to the public),” Phivolcs-Davao science research assistant Chris Vidad said in a phone interview.

Vidad said the entire island is expected to experience aftershocks in the following days.

Based on the Phivolcs' Earthquake Bulletin on its website, as of 5 p.m. of October 29, 2019, a total of 95 earthquakes, including aftershocks, occurred in Mindanao after the magnitude 6.6 earthquake.

A 6.1-magnitude aftershock occurred, still in Tulunan in Cotabato at 10:42 a.m. and a 5.4-magnitude aftershock was felt in the same area at 4:33 p.m.

As to the possibility of an aftershock with a magnitude greater than 6.6, Vidad said they were still observing the ground movements.

He said it was the strongest earthquake to occur in Mindanao in recent history and was wider in scope.

“Dumarami ang areas na naka-feel ng pagyanig as compared to October 16. Mas marami ngayong area ang nakarandam kasi abot hanggang Zamboanga Peninsula. Medyo malawak din ang lindol na na-experience natin ngayon (There were a lot of areas that were able to feel the earthquake as compared to October 16. It even reached Zamboanga Peninsula. The scope of the earthquake is wide this time),” Vidad said.

He said there was no tsunami threat since it was an inland earthquake.


As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, the Davao City Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC), in its partial report, said there were no missing or dead people in the city.

The city reported minor cracks on walls in 30 schools and eight other structures:

Tacunan Elementary School

Tacunan National High School

Mintal Comperehensive High School

Mintal Elementary School

Calinan Elementary School

Calinan High School

Matina Pangi Elementary School

UM Overpass

Barangay Matina Crossing

Magtuod Elementary School

Manambulan Elementary School

Maa Elementary School

Maa National High School

Palmeto Building in Barangay Maa

Armed Forces of the Philippines Logistics Command Elementary School in Barangay Panacan

Corquera Elementary School in Barangay Panacan

Cabantian Elementary School

Wilfredo Aquino Elementary School

Wilfredo Aquino Barangay Hall

Tagurano Barangay Hall

Lots for Less in Matina Aplaya

SPED Bangkal

Matina Biao Elementary School

Matina Biao High School

Gumalang Elementary School

Talomo Elementary School

Dona Carmen National High School

University of Southeastern Philippines Obrero

Holy Cross of Mintal Senior High Building 3rd Floor

University of the Philippines Mintal Sports Complex

Marilog Gym

Bustamante High School

Bustamante Elementary School

Bayabas Elementary School

Sto. Nino National High School

Don Enrique Bustamante National High School

Bago Gallera Elementary School

Gaisano Mall of Davao in Bajada.

Major cracks were recorded at Felcris Centrale along Quimpo Boulevard, Catalunan Grande Elementary School and Catalunan Grande High School, while major damage was reported at Gaisano Grand in Toril and Ecoland 4000 Condominium.

Moderate cracks were reported in Erico National High School, Cabantian National High School second and third Building, Baguio Proper High School, Baguio Proper Elementary School, Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School first building, and Metrobank along Ramon Magsaysay Avenue.

Minor damage to the ceiling were reported at Deco Arts, Quimpo Boulevard, Matina and Doña Pilar Elementary School in Barangay 5-A.

An abandoned stall at Toril Public Marker was reported to have collapsed during the quake while the southbound lane of the Bolton Bridge in Quimpo Boulevard, Barangay 76-A Bucana was reported to have cracks.

The Oroderm City Complex building in C.M. Recto Street was reported to have tilted during the earthquake. However, the management of the commercial complex later clarified that "its buildings and structures have been declared structurally safe and strong."

“Members from the CEO (City Engineer’s Office) of Davao have just finished their inspection of Oroderm City. They stated that the foundation of the building and the building is safe and strong. No cracks were noted at the basement. The upper floors were also inspected and minor cracks in the walls are only normal and part of building movement," it said.

Four houses were also damaged in Barangay Magsaysay. Meanwhile, the PSSCC, through the Central 911 reported the following that were checked and found to be in good visual condition: Bankerohan, Bolton, San Rafael, Ulas, Bypass Pangi, Diversion Road (Davao River), Matina Crossing, Bago,Lizada Lipadas, Binugao, Mintal, and Los Amigos.

Inspection at Ilang and Lasang Bridge is ongoing.

The Davao City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) is currently conducting rapid assessment in coordination with the City Engineer’s Office to assess buildings noted with damage.

The Davao City Police Office (DCPO), as of 12 noon, recorded two injured individuals namely Sherwin Bacalla Cuico, 38, collection supervisor at Tagum Cooperative, and Jane Yabo Tagalo, 36, bookkeeper at Tagum cooperative Mintal branch.

DCPO said both are in stable condition at the Davao Adventist Hospital. Meanwhile, five female students of Sto. Niño National High School fell unconscious during the earthquake.

They are Mae Jean P. Malesiano, 15 years old, grade 10 student; Mariane A. Arroyo, 15, grade 10; Rachs Mae Gerasol, 15, grade 10; Christine Tinga, 12, grade 6; and Precy May Oliva, 15, grade 10. Oliva injured her right ankle during the quake.

The police said they are all residents of Barangay Sto. Niño, Tugbok District and are all in stable condition after being treated by responding personnel.

Classes, work suspended

The Davao City Government suspended classes in all levels in both private and public schools and universities.

"All school owners, teachers, and other school personnel are hereby instructed to subject school structures to a safety inspection with a qualified engineer immediately," Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio said in a statement.

"If they find building defects that are dangerous and need repair, they should immediately condemn the area and not allow students to use the same," she added.

However, the suspension of classes on Wednesday, October 30, shall be on a case-to-case basis and shall depend on the individual schools' announcement.

The city government of Davao also suspended work in all government offices in the city on Tuesday afternoon.

Duterte-Carpio also encouraged the private sector to suspend work.

Davao City was also rocked by a strong shallow earthquake centered near Tulunan, Cotabato on October 16, 2019.


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