Quake-hit Sarangani needs relief goods, says official

Dennis Datu, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 20 2023 08:33 AM | Updated as of Nov 20 2023 08:35 AM


The island municipality of Sarangani in Davao Occidental, epicenter of a magnitude 6.8 earthquake last Friday, sustained minimal damage but is still in need of relief goods, a local disaster official said. 

In an interview with ABS-CBN News over the phone, Sarangani Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office Head Harly Sauro said the situation on their island is now calm but residents remain fearful.

Assessment conducted by the MDRRMO revealed a total of 86 houses sustained minor damage including collapsed ceilings and wall cracks.


A total of 12 school buildings also sustained partial damage, but one classroom in Angel Olarte Elementary School was recommended for demolition after its posts and walls collapsed.

A 70-year-old man was also injured after being hit by hollow blocks.

Sauro said many residents have not been able to return to their livelihoods because they are busy repairing their damaged houses and most of them still fear going back to the sea.

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"Sa ngayon kailangan talaga ng relief goods, sir. S'yempre 'yung ibang residente may tatrabahuhin pa sa bahay nila so hindi sila makapaghanapbuhay. Hindi pa po makapangisda kasi andoon pa ang takot.," he said. 

The municipality of Sarangani is located on Balut Island, which is part of the Sarangani Group of Islands.

Sarangani consists of 12 barangays and has a population of 24,000, with two major islands, Sarangani and Balut, as well as two islets.

Sarangani is the farthest island in Eastern Mindanao, near the border of Indonesia.

The Sarangani Group of Islands can be reached from mainland Mindanao by pump boat from the town of Jose Abad Santos, Davao Occidental, or from Glan, Sarangani Province, with a travel time of one to two hours by pump boat. Meanwhile, it takes more than six hours to travel from the pier of General Santos City by RORO vessel.