AT least 790 aftershocks have been recorded since the magnitude 6.0 earthquake jolted Davao de Oro on Wednesday night, February 1, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology in Davao (Phivolcs-Davao).
Officer-in-charge of Phivolcs-Davao Eduardo Lauron said 790 aftershocks were recorded as of 8:00 am of Friday, February 3. Of the number, 745 were plotted and only one was felt.
“Most of the quake we recorded right now is within the epicenter where the fault surface continues to resettle, that's why we have aftershocks,” Lauron said during the Kapihan sa PIA media forum on February 3.
Lauron said as per the initial bulletin of Phivolcs, the earthquake with epicenter in New Bataan town was recorded as intensity 5 but was later increased to intensity 6 due to the damages it incurred in various buildings and houses.
Regional information officer of the Office of Civil Defense in Davao Region (OCD-Davao) Angie Dela Cruz said the provinces of Davao de Oro and Davao del Norte were heavily affected.
Fortunately, only minor damages were recorded near the epicenter in Maragusan, Montevista, Nabunturan, and Compostela Valley.
There were also no casualties but some students reportedly fainted or hyperventilated due to the strong quake.
According to Lauron, the province of Davao de Oro is historically the site of nine strong to major earthquakes since 1891, including the 7.3 magnitude quake in Monkayo town recorded in 1893.
Davao de Oro is also prone to earthquakes since parts of the province are also within the Philippine fault line. There are also identified fault systems in the area including the west fault of Compostela, and the eastern and central parts of the Compostela fault.
In line with this, a Quick Response Team will be deployed to assess the localized faults and the impact of hazards at the site of the quake and the vicinity of the epicenter.
“They will be deploying three seismologists to assess the impact of hazards and the rapture, baka may mga bagong fault na nangyari. Hopefully they can identify some ground fixtures to identify the localized faults,” Lauro said. ICM