Davao quake death toll climbs to 8

DAVAO. Rescuers retrieved two bodies from the collapsed building in Padada, Davao Del Sur. They were identified as Elsa Ababon and Evangelyn Artiaga, who were both shopping for some goods when the ground shook on December 15, 2019. (Photo by Macky Lim)

(UPDATED) The casualty count from the magnitude 6.9 earthquake that hit Davao on Sunday, December 15, has climbed to eight.

Rescuers recorded three fatalities in Padada, two in Matanao, one in Hagonoy, one in Magsaysay, and one in Bansalan.

They were identified as:

  • Elias Degamon, 60, who died after he was hit by falling debris on December 15 in Bansalan;
  • Juliana D. Cagas, 81, who died from a heart attack in Matanao;
  • Cherbel Chime M. Gador, 6, (not Cherbelchen Imgador as reported earlier) of Matanao;
  • Carlito Ibon, 80, a resident of Hagonoy;
  • Fernando Balitayo, 63, who died from a heart attack while in his farm at the height of the temblor;
  • Elsa Ababon, 57;
  • Evangeline Artiaga, 67; and
  • Emily Golyegos.

The bodies of Ababon, Artiaga and Golyegos were retrieved from the collapsed Southgreen Commercial (not Southern Trade) building in Padada town, Davao del Sur.

Ababon was pulled out of the building first at about 2 a.m. Monday, December 16, followed by Artiaga at around 8 a.m. and Golyegos at 9:55 p.m. also on Monday.

Contrary to initial reports that six were trapped in the collapsed building, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) said their life and motion detector has not detected any human bodies inside after the retrieval of Golyegos.

The search, rescue and retrieval operations were jointly undertaken by the Municipal Government of Padada, Philippine National Police Regional Office in Davao Region (PRO-Davao), Rescue 911 of Davao City, and BFP-Davao.

In its update on Tuesday, December 17, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) said 49 individuals were also injured due to the earthquake.

A total of 36 public structures and 19 other structures were destroyed while 11 schools sustained damage. The affected structures included places of worship and commercial buildings.

The disaster bureau said 1,951 families or 9,755 persons were affected by the tremor. Some 1,913 families of 9,565 persons took temporary shelter in evacuation centers.

NDRRMC spokesperson Mark Timbal assured coordination with government agencies to ensure the continuous provision of relief goods to the affected population.

The quake, which struck at 2:11 p.m. Sunday about nine kilometers north of Matanao town in Davao del Sur at a depth of only three kilometers, occurred 45 days after the series of tremors that struck Cotabato in late October.

These were the magnitude 6.3 on October 16, magnitude 6.6 on October 29 and magnitude 6.5 on October 31.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), in a primer on the latest quake, said ground shaking was felt as far as 300 kilometers away from the epicenter.

As of 1 p.m. Monday, December 16, 2019, the Philippine Seismic Network has recorded a total of 530 small to moderate earthquakes.

All quakes since October 16, 2019 were tectonic and inland. They do not indicate volcanic activity, Phivolcs said.

The nearest active volcanoes from the epicenter are Matutum Volcano about 44 kilometers away and Parker Volcano about 78 kilometers away.

Phivolcs warned of landslides, rock falls, and other types of mass movements on mountainous or hilly areas.

Liquefaction, manifested by subsidence, sand boils or lateral spreading may also affect low-lying, water-saturated and sandy areas near river banks and shore lines.

The Davao Region in southern Mindanao is one of the seismically active regions in the country, Phivolcs said.

Active faults in the area include the Tangbulan Fault, Central Digos Fault and Cotabato Fault System (CFS) composed of Makilala-Malungon, Makilala, M’lang, North Columbio, South Columbio, Balabag.

Other local faults could also be the source of small to strong magnitude earthquakes, Phivolcs added. (SunStar Philippines and SunStar Davao)


SunStar website welcomes friendly debate, but comments posted on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of the SunStar management and its affiliates. SunStar reserves the right to delete, reproduce or modify comments posted here without notice. Posts that are inappropriate will automatically be deleted.

Forum rules:

Do not use obscenity. Some words have been banned. Stick to the topic. Do not veer away from the discussion. Be coherent. Do not shout or use CAPITAL LETTERS!