THE number of fatalities from a magnitude 6.9 earthquake that shook parts of Davao region on Sunday rose to eight yesterday while 209 were injured and at least two others recorded as missing, the Police Regional Office 11 reported yesterday.
PRO11 director Brigadier General Filmore B. Escobal said that as of press time, police military and civilian volunteers were still racing against time to find victims believed to have been trapped underneath collapsed buildings and other structures.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council said it recorded eight dead in Davao del Sur and Davao Occidental with 49 others injured.
The NDRRMC said 1,961 families composed of nearly 9,755 persons were displaced in 12 barangays in the region and are currently being housed in 13 government-run evacuation centers.
The number of damaged public structures in the Davao and Soccsksargen regions also rose to 36, including seven totally damaged buildings and 11 partially damaged school buildings in Davao del Sur and Sarangani, said the NDRRMC.
According to Escobal, there were a total of 12,240 houses in the region which were partially damaged along with 688 other infrastructures and six police buildings including that of the Hagonoy, Matanao, Sta. Cruz and Sulop Municipal Police Stations, the 1st Davao del Sur Provincial Mobile Force Company headquarters in San Agustin, Digos City and the local provincial headquarters.
There were also a total of 5,095 houses and 60 structures as well as the Kiblawan, Magsaysay and Padada Municipal Police Stations in Davao del Sur which were totally damaged.
At least seven roads in the region were also rendered impassable to all types of vehicles by earthquake damage or landslide. Some areas in Matanao, Kiblawan and Padada municipalities also had no power supply as of press time.
Escobal said that a command post of the Incident Management Team has been established in Padada, Davao del Sur to supervise efforts to rescue people trapped under the collapsed Southern Trade Commercial Store even as he called on local residents not to panic.
The official also called for prayers for victims of the earthquake in the region while adding they are doing all their best to ensure peace and order in the affected areas and prevent looting.
Only the 3rd floor of the three-story Southern Trade building remained as its first and second floors have already collapsed. At least six building employees have been rescued from the collapsed building and taken to the hospital for treatment.
Escobal said one man was reported killed while 37 others were injured in different parts of Davao del Sur. Power outage also hit Davao del Sur and Davao Occidental.