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
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
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
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.