'Ang buong bahay parang mag-collapse': Lanao officials recount quake terror


Posted at Apr 12 2017 08:23 AM | Updated as of Apr 12 2017 08:49 AM

MANILA - Local officials in Lanao del Sur province described scenes of panic and destruction after a magnitude 6.0 earthquake rattled parts of Mindanao on Thursday.

The quake hit Wao town in Lanao del Sur at 5:21 a.m. It was very shallow, at a depth of 4 miles, and was felt up to Davao City, Cagayan De Oro City, Cotabato City and Misamis Oriental.

"Ang buong bahay, parang mag-collapse sa sobrang lakas. Lahat ng mga kababayan namin, lumabas. Ang iba nga, nagsigawan. Iyung mga ibang bata, umiyak," Emmanuel Lebaquin, village councilor of Wao's Barangay Katutungan, told radio DZMM.

(Our whole house shook. It seemed like it would collapse because the shaking was very strong. Residents here went out of their houses. Some shouted, some children cried.)

A portion of a road in Wao, Lanao del Sur cracked after the quake. Photo by Oliver Ferariz

The quake, he said, momentarily cut off power in Wao, plunging residents in pre-dawn darkness as the ground shook.

Wao city councilor Elmer Mendoza said some residents took about an hour before returning home, fearing that their houses would collapse due to aftershocks.

"Ngayon pa lang po kami nakapasok ng bahay dahil natakot po kami. Masyadong malakas at maraming aftershocks po," Mendoza said in a separate DZMM interview.

(We have just returned home because we were scared. The earthquake was strong and there were many aftershocks.)

Mendoza said several houses were damaged including his own home.

A relative from the nearby town of Kalilangan, Bukidnon also reported damage in their area, he said.

Canned goods fall from the shelves of a sari-sari store in Barangay Poblacion, Wao. Maria Cecilia Butardo, ABS-CBN News

"Sa mga kalapit na bayan po namin, maraming damage din, sa Kalilangan, Bukidnon. Iyung pinsan ko po, may water refilling station sila. Nabuwal po iyung mga tangke doon," he said.

(There was heavy damage in nearby towns, particularly in Kalilangan, Bukidnon. My cousin there has a water refilling station. His water tanks toppled.)

The state seismological office confirmed that it received reports of mass panic in several areas due to the temblor.

"We had reports that there were panicking and brownouts," said Janila de Ocampo, research specialist at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

Phivolcs, she said, was still confirming reports of damage to infrastructure.

Four aftershocks -- with magnitudes ranging from 3.4 to 4.0 -- have rocked Lanao del Sur as of 6:30 a.m.