Mindanao quake death toll rises to 9


Posted at Nov 20 2023 10:54 AM | Updated as of Nov 20 2023 01:31 PM

Photo by Dennis Datu, ABS-CBN News
Photo by Dennis Datu, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The death toll from last week's strong Mindanao earthquake rose to 9 on Monday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said. 

“Tinutukoy pa po natin ang detalye nang kanilang pagkasawi,” NDRRMC deputy spokesperson Mark Timbal said. 

“Wala na po tayong missing na mga kababayan natin,” he told state television PTV.

The 6.8-magnitude quake that struck off Sarangani mid-afternoon on Friday caused part of a shopping mall ceiling to collapse, triggered power cuts, and sent people fleeing into the streets.

Authorities earlier said some of the fatalities included a mother and her 7-year-old child in Glan, Sarangani, and another person killed by a falling steel structure in the same town. 

In General Santos City, a woman was crushed to death by falling debris from a mall, while a couple died after they were pinned under a collapsing concrete wall. 

An elderly man was killed by a large rock that rolled down a hill near his house in neighboring Davao Occidental province. 

The NDRRMC said the quake injured 15 others and affected nearly 12,900 people. 

Some 450 people needed medical service after experiencing hyperventilation and panic attacks, Timbal said. 

The quake damaged around 800 houses and at least 118 schools, government facilities, and private buildings. 

“Fully restored na ang serbisyo ng kuryente. All telco services sa mobile, areglado na… Nagbalik sa normal na po yung ating mga lifelines sa area,” Timbal said. 

So far, local government units are still discussing whether or not a state of calamity should be declared in their respective jurisdictions, he said.

The government has distributed around P11.6 million in assistance, the NDRRMC said in its 8 a.m. report. 

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The NDRRMC said the quarterly earthquake drill paid off as several Mindanaons were seen properly implementing the safety protocols they practices during the shake drills.

Timbal reminded the public to stay calm in the event of a temblor, noting that there were also individuals who panicked when the earthquake struck portions of Mindanao last week.

“Dapat palagi pong kalmado ang ating mga kababayan. Kapag may earthquake drills tayo hindi ito biruan,” Timbal said.

“Dapat mamayani sa atin yung presence of mind para magawa natin yung mga gawaing pangkaligtasan,” he added.

The state seismology service said the quake was likely generated by the movement of the earth's crust along the Cotabato trench, a long, narrow depression on the seafloor that forms the boundary of one tectonic plate pushing against another.

Quakes are frequent in the Philippines, which sits along the Pacific "Ring of Fire", an arc of intense seismic as well as volcanic activity that stretches from Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.

Most are too weak to be felt by humans. 

— With reports from Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News; Agence France-Presse