Tuesday evening in parts of Mindanao was rudely interrupted by an earthquake of moderate strength that occurred in the province of North Cotabato. Inquirer.net has it that the quake, measured by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) to initially be of magnitude 5.3, occurred at 8:37 PM of July 9, with an epicenter of 20 kilometers southeast of the municipality of Makilala, 14 kilometers deep into the ground. The tectonic temblor was felt throughout Region XII SOCCSKSARGEN, as well as parts of Davao Region (XI) and Bangsamoro (BARRM). While no casualties or significant damages were reported, it was an unexpected scare to Mindanaoans.
In terms of earthquake strength, the tremor was particularly strong and palpable within the affected areas due to its shallow tectonic depth. Makilala itself, along with the North Cotabato capital of Kidapawan City and its South Cotabato counterpart of Koronadal, Digos and Santa Cruz in the Metro Davao area, all recorded maximum shaking of no less than Intensity V under the PHIVOLCS Earthquake Intesity Scale, characterized by visible shaking of twigs on trees. In Digos, store products were pictured falling off shelves in supermarkets, while social media showed cam-phone footage of moviegoers evacuating a cinema.
A step down on the scale, Intensity IV was felt in Davao City itself, as well as the South Cotabato municipalities of Polomolok, Tupi, Tampakan, Quirino and Santo Niño, the city of Tacurong in Sultan Kudarat, and the Sarangani towns of Glan and Malungon. Also in Sarangani, Kiamba reported earthquake Intensity III, as did General Santos City. Finally Intensity II rocked the Bangsamoro independent component Cotabato City, and the Compostela Valley provincial capital of Nabunturan. The most prominent report of structural damage made thus far was of a portion of the wall in a Makilala residence that collapsed due to proximity to the quake’s epicenter.
PHIVOLCS would later scale up the magnitude of the temblor to 5.6 following the incident, and warned of the high possibility of aftershocks. Roughly 30 minutes later at 9:08 PM the first such shock occurred with a magnitude of 2.8, followed by a second two minutes later at magnitude 2.2; the last prominent aftershock of the evening was measured at magnitude 2.1, happening 9:37 PM.
Image courtesy of ABS-CBN News