DAVAO - Davao Oriental is safe from any tsunami threat and significant damages from the 6.5-magnitude earthquake that struck the province early Saturday, government officials assured.
"The origin of the quake was 42-kilometers deep from the surface that's why there is no threat of tsunamis," Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (Philvolcs) director Renato Solidum said.
"Aftershocks may occur, but we do not expect any significant damage," he added.
But disaster response teams in Davao Oriental have been dispatched and are monitoring 16 coastal barangays in Mati City that may have been severely affected by the quake.
"So far, no damages to properties or lives incurred as reported by [the] City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and Coast Guard Station,"Governor Nelson Dayanghirang told ABS-CBN in a text message.
"No abnormalities in the sea level have been observed, and fishermen were already at sea a few hours after the quake," Mati City Disaster Action Officer Alejo Sampiri added in an interview on DZMM.
In Davao City, classes at the Ateneo de Davao University have been cancelled as school officials evaluate possible damages caused by the shock, the school's president Fr. Joel Tabora announced on Twitter.
Solidum said Davao Oriental is frequently hit by earthquakes as it is situated near the Philippine trench and the Philippine fault.
The Philvolcs director reminded the public, especially those living near or along fault lines, to take part in the National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill on September 28 to ensure that they know what to do whenever a major shock hits their area. - with reports from Francis Magbanua, ABS-CBN News