Dozens injured, 4 dead in Mindanao earthquake
Location: North Cotabato, Philippines
Date Published: October 17, 2019
Local authorities reported that at least 4 people were killed and dozens injured following a magnitude 6.3 earthquake that hit Mindanao on Wednesday night, October 16.
The deaths include a child in Datu Paglas, Maguindanao; and 3 others – including a mother and her infant – in Magsaysay town, Davao del Sur, according to local officials. Magsaysay information officer Anthony Allada identified the fatalities in his town as 22-year-old Angel Lakay and her 10-month old baby, and two-year-old Kristine Ruda – all killed by falling objects and debris during the quake.
A house was also buried in an earthquake-triggered landslide in Barangay Malawanit, Magsaysay, Allada added.
Magsaysay town in Davao del Sur's border town with Tulunan, North Cotabato, the earthquake's epicenter.
At least 30 people were reported injured, according to local disaster management officials.
People living in coastal villages panicked as the earthquake and aftershocks rocked their villages, causing them to flee for fear of a tsunami even if the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) did not issue a tsunami alert.
In Davao Occidental, provincial disaster risk reduction and management officer Harry Camoro said the coastal towns of Malita and Don Marcelino became ghost towns minutes after the quake.
“We have oriented people living in the coastal areas to evacuate in the event of a strong quake. However, the situation was quite chaotic because people were in panic as they evacuated to higher grounds,” Camoro said, adding that there had been no injuries though.
Residents who fled their villages over misleading information on a tsunami had already gone home.
In Davao del Sur, provincial disaster management officer Christopher Tan, said that people who fled their villages returned on Thursday morning, October 17, after spending the night far from the coastline.
“They have returned home as of 7 am today,” Tan said.
In Davao City, the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office said 7 persons were injured while a house also caught fire at Farland, Dacoville Subdivision in Barangay Dumoy. The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said at least 3 establishments also suffered “significant damages”: SM Ecoland, SM Lanang, and Abreeza, which sustained wall cracks.
Davao City information officer Jefry Tupas said building inspections in schools were ongoing in the city.
Building inspections were also being conducted in Davao del Sur, where at least two establishments suffered major damage – Cor Jesu College and Gaisano Mall, both in Digos City.
In Davao Occidental, one house under construction collapsed in Sitio Relocation in Barangay Poblacion in Malita. Inspections were also being conducted in some school buildings, including the 4-story building at the Mariano Peralta National High School in Malita.
The earthquake, which was tectonic in origin, struck Tulunan, Cotabato, at around 7:37 pm at a depth of 8 kilometers. The United States Geological Survey, meanwhile, recorded the earthquake at magnitude 6.4.
Phivolcs has recorded over 100 aftershocks.
Meanwhile, two earthquakes struck the Davao region on Thursday morning – magnitude 5.3 in Manay, Davao Oriental, at 4:53 am; and magnitude 5.2 in Jose Abad Santos, Davao Occidental, at 9:28 am.