Double whammy for Mindanao

October 29, 2019
Earthquake hit Tulunan town, North Cotabato
double whammy. School children and teachers sit outside a collapsed school building after a 6.6-magnitude earthquake hit Tulunan town, North Cotabato. Top photo: A general view of the damaged town hall after a 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit Magsaysay, Davao del Sur, after a 6.6-magnitude quake struck Mindanao yesterday, causing injuries and damaging buildings in a region still reeling from a previous deadly tremor.
Photo from the Facebook pages of Chyna Nicole and Anthony Allada thru AFP

A second killer quake hits already stricken region.

A MAGNITUDE 6.6 earthquake rocked parts of Mindanao past 9 a.m. yesterday killing at least five people and injuring dozens, and triggering fires and a massive search for other victims.

One of the fatalities was a student who was struck in the head by falling debris in Magsaysay, Davao del Sur while the other was Nestor Narciso, a 66-year old man who was also hit by falling debris in Koronadal, South Cotabato.

Also killed was a pregnant woman in Tulunan town. 

The fatality in Magsaysay, Davao del Sur was described as a Grade 9 student who was struck by a falling hollow block in the head as the victim and other students rushed out of their classrooms at the height of the tremor, the second to hit the region this month.

Two other fatalities — a father and his child — were recorded in the town of Arakan in Cotabato, its governor Emily Lou Mendoza told radio DZMM.

The temblor sparked fires at two clinics in General Santos City, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

Nearly two weeks ago, a magnitude 6.3 quake rocked Tulunan, Cotabato killing four persons and triggering strong aftershocks.  

As of press time, authorities were still assessing damage to infrastructures and other buildings in the affected areas including Makilala, Cotabato; Kidapawan City; Malungon, Sarangani; Davao City; Koronadal City; Cagayan de Oro City; Tampakan, Surallah and Tupi in South Cotabato; Alabel, Sarangani; General Santos City; Kalilangan, Bukidnon; Zamboanga City; Dipolog City; Molave, Zamboanga del Norte; Talakag, Bukidnon; and Sergio Osmeña Sr., Zamboanga del Norte.

Following the quake, Malacañang called on Mindanao residents to remain calm as it assured the public that the government is on top of disaster response.

“We ask our citizens to remain calm but vigilant and we urge them to refrain from spreading disinformation that may cause undue alarm, panic and stress to many people,” Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said.

In Camp Crame, Philippine National Police Officer-in-Charge Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa ordered all concerned police regional offices to immediately mobilize their respective units and personnel to respond to calls for help, provide necessary assistance in coordination with their respective Local Government Units and RDRRMCs and prevent crimes.

“The PNP urges the people in Mindanao to remain calm and composed in view of the magnitude 6.6 earthquake that jolted parts of Regions 9,10,11 and 12,” the PNP-OIC said.

“In the midst of the situation, we assure the public that the PNP will always be there to serve and protect them even as they face worries and anxiety. Staying calm and composed would be very helpful for us to effectively maintain peace and order,’ PNP spokesman, Brigadier General Bernard M. Banac said.