EARTHQUAKE Hits SOUTH COTABATO Sunday

It feels like not that long ago when an earthquake struck southern Mindanao that resulted in some very noticeable shaking. In fact, the southern part of the country has been seeing a lot of seismic activity of a tectonic nature over the past two years. GenSan can recall the October 2019 quake that may have triggered the fire which razed the old structure of Gaisano Mall. It was nothing compared to the follow-up tremors later that month which triggered landslides. While the more recent quakes had epicenters out at sea, an event that struck this past Sunday was terrestrial in location, resulting in structural damages as well as some injuries.

CNN Philippines reports that a tectonic earthquake measuring magnitude 6.1 hit the province of Davao Del Sur just past noon of February 7. Its epicenter was located by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) to be about 6 kilometers due southeast of the municipality of Magsaysay, and 15 kilometers deep into the ground. In fact, the initial measurement had been magnitude 6.3, although later that Sunday the country’s earthquake institute downgraded the reading to just 6.1 in magnitude.

Intensity readings for the quake were as follows: Intensity 5 (strong) was felt in Magsaysay itself along with Bansalan, Hagonoy and Sta. Cruz of Davao Del Sur; most of North Cotabato; and in Banga and Koronadal of South Cotabato. Intensity 4 (moderately strong) registered in Davao City, North Cotabato’s Midsayap and Banisilan; Don Carlos, Bukidnon; GenSan; South Cotabato’s Polomolok, Norala and Santo Niño; Alabel, Kiamba and Malapatan in Sarangani; and the Sultan Kudarat’s Tacurong City and Palimbang. Intensity 3 (weak) was felt in the cities of Cotabato, Cagayan de Oro and Tagum, as well as the municipalities of Kadingilan and Kitaotao (Bukidnon), and Maco and Nabunturan in Davao de Oro.

According to a report from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) dated Monday, February 8, around five people were injured in North Cotabato where the earthquake was at Intensity 5, three of them in Makilala. No identities of the injured victims were provided. Landslides were also reported in Makilala and neighboring M’lang. Damage to structures, in terms of cracks in walls, were reported in Davao Del Sur and North Cotabato, with photos documenting the aftermath shown on social media. In Davao City, some 45 residents were evacuated.

Image: Philippine Red Cross Twitter

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