2 reported dead, several injured in tremor
MANILA (5th UPDATE)—A magnitude-6.3 earthquake hit North Cotabato on Wednesday, the Phivolcs said, a tremor that was felt in nearby provinces.
The tectonic quake occurred at 7:37 p.m. approximately 22 kilometers southeast of Tulunan town and had a depth of 15 km.
No tsunami warning was raised, the government agency said.
Tulunan Mayor Reuel Limbungan said he received a report that two were injured in his town because of the tremor. He also said a 7-year-old girl from nearby Datu Paglas town in Maguindanao was brought to a hospital in Tulunan after a wall collapsed on her.
The child did not survive.
A 5-year-old-boy from Magsaysay, Davao del Sur was also reported dead, according to Anthony Allada, the municipal public information officer of Magsaysay.
Limbungan ordered the suspension of classes on Thursday in elementary and high school. Work at the municipal hall is also suspended, because authorities need to check the stability of structures.
In Magsaysay town, Davao del Sur, local officials said more than 20 people were injured because of the quake.
According to Allada, the wounded were taken to the municipal health center after they were hit by falling objects.
"Nabagsakan sila ng mga gamit sa bahay," Allada told radio DZMM, adding that one person was critically wounded.
Most houses were "totally damaged" in Magsaysay, he said.
The city of Kidapawan felt the tremor at Intensity 7, and in an updated Phivolcs report, Tulunan and M'lang towns in North Cotabato were assigned the same intensity.
"We’re receiving reports of damage but we’re still verifying but we’re relatively OK at this moment. We’re still waiting for the reports to come in," Kidapawan Mayor Joseph Evangelista said in an interview in the immediate aftermath of the quake.
Jerome Barranco, operations officer of the Office of Civil Defense in Region 12, said his office has received reports of injuries in Kidapawan due to debris.
The following areas also felt the earthquake:
Intensity VII - Tulunan, North Cotabato, M'Lang, North Cotabato, Kidapawan City
Intensity VI - Digos City, Davao del Sur; Sto. Nino, South Cotabato; Tacurong City
Intensity V - Alabel & Malungon, Sarangani; Lake Sebu, Polomolok, Tampakan & Tupi, South
Cotabato; Koronadal City; Roxas & Pikit, North Cotabato;General Santos City; Davao City;
Kalamansig, Lebak & Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat
Intensity IV - Kiamba, Sarangani; Esperanza & Rosario, Agusan del Sur; Kalilangan, Quezon,
Kadingilan & Damulog, Bukidnon; Mawab, Compostela Valley; Cotabato City; Matanog, Barira &
Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao
Intensity III - Santa Josefa, Agusan del Sur; Iligan City; Dipolog City
Intensity II - Butuan City; Zamboanga City
Intensity I - Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur
Instrumental intensities were also experienced in these areas:
Intensity VII - Kidapawan City
Intensity V - Tupi and Polomolok, South Cotabato; Alabel, Sarangani
Intensity IV - Kiamba, Sarangani; T'Boli, South Cotabato; General Santos City
Intensity III - Cagayan de Oro City; Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental;
Intensity II - Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental
Intensity I - Dipolog City; Bislig City
Phivolcs director Renato Solidum described the quake as "moderately strong."
The US Geological Survey measured the quake at 6.7.
The Department of Energy said the earthquake affected the Mount Apo geothermal power plant, which caused power outages in some parts of South Cotabato, North Cotabato and the entire city of Kidapawan.
Assistant Secretary Redentor Delola said the DOE is checking affected areas to find out whether it is safe to re-energize affected lines.
"Marami tayong excess capacity, so ang tinitingnan lang natin ngayon, safe bang i-energize ulit 'yung lines," he told DZMM.
Mayor Joseph Cagas of Digos said his city is in total blackout, making it difficult for the local government to assess the situation.
"So far, wala pa naman (casualties). Ang nangyayari lang 'yung mga estudyante, nahimatay sa kanilang paaralan. May tatlong estudyante, natatakot," he said.
A magnitude-5.5 aftershock, meanwhile, hit Columbio town in Sultan Kudarat at 8:09 p.m, the Phivolcs said.
Several aftershocks were also recorded in Tulunan and Makilala towns.