Wednesday, March 29, 2023

6.0 and 5.6 earthquakes shake the Philippines: building damage and evacuations are reported

Earthquakes occur daily in the Philippines, which is located along the Pacific Ring of Fire. Photo: AFP | Photo: AFP

Two strong earthquakes struck the southern Philippines on Tuesday, April 7, authorities reported. A second collapsed roof shook and forced hundreds of villagers to evacuate their homes.

The 6.0-magnitude earthquake occurred at about 2:00 am (0600 GMT) a few kilometers from the municipality of Maragusano in the mountainous mining province of Davao de Oro on the island of Mindanao, the Geological Survey of Mindanao said.

Local authorities indicated that there were no reports of accidents or significant damages.

Another, shorter earthquake, measuring 5.6 in magnitude, struck the nearby city of New Bataan almost three hours later, destroying several houses.

New Bataan disaster chief Lynne Dollolasa said about 300 people were forced to flee their homes in Andap village, where “several houses collapsed.”

Several hundred people inside a shopping center in Tagum City, in the adjacent province of Davao del Norte, were hit by falling glasses and plates as they fled the building, said Jay Suaybaguio, provincial information officer.

“I was in the third-floor office buying supplies when I was suddenly hit by an earthquake,” Suaybaguio told AFP.

“When we got to the first floor, we saw broken bottles of wine and condiments. The lights went out, but emergency lights came on, helping us on our way,” he added.

Photos posted on the Davao del Norte disaster agency’s Facebook page showed sections of the collapsed roof inside another Tagum shopping mall, which was blamed on a “series of seismic incidents.”

The government of Davao del Norte suspended work and classes this Tuesday and Wednesday to allow inspections of public buildings and public infrastructure.

The first shock lasted about 30 seconds and followed after school, said Corporal Stephanie Clemen, police chief in Tagum, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) from Maragusano.

“We kept going under our table and stopped with the ground whenever we got out,” Clemens told AFP. “We are still dry there, which happened shortly after the scandal,” he added.

Although nothing seemed to have happened in the shock, Clemens said, the “cause for fear” was strong enough.

Earthquakes in the Philippines

Earthquakes occur daily in the Philippines, which lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of intense seismic and volcanic activity that stretches from Japan through Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim.

Most earthquakes are too weak for people to feel, but stronger and more destructive ones happen sporadically with no technology available to predict when and where they will strike.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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