A MAGNITUDE 6.5 earthquake struck central Mindanao yesterday morning, just two days after a 6.6 tremor killed at least 8 people, the national disaster agency said.
At least one person died after the wall of a local government building collapsed in the town of Makilala, Cotabato province in southern Philippines, according to state-owned Radyo Pilipinas.
The Philippines lies in the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of intense seismic activity around the Pacific Ocean where most of the world’s earthquakes strike.
A hotel in Kidapawan City, the capital of Cotabato, a mid-rise condominium in Davao City and several other structures elsewhere collapsed. Many of these buildings had sustained major cracks from Tuesday’s main earthquake and hundreds of aftershocks.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has recorded 590 aftershocks as of 11 p.m. on Oct. 30, with the strongest at magnitude 6.1.
Thursday’s temblor was the third to hit the area since the magnitude 6.4 earthquake on Oct. 16. Its epicentre was located 33 kilometers northeast of Tulunan in Cotabato.
Kidapawan’s power substation operated by the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines was damaged, but Mindanao’s transmission backbone remained intact, the Energy department said in a statement.
The agency said it had once again activated a task force on energy resiliency. “Necessary technical adjustments and shifting of load to Tacurong substation will be undertaken to restore transmission services to affected customers,” it said.
Meanwhile, more supplies have arrived from Manila, including tents and kitchen kits for more than 2,000 families in various evacuation centers, said Cezario Joel Espejo, Social Welfare director for Region 12.
In Davao City, President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s hometown, one of the two buildings of Ecoland 4000 collapsed, hurting nine people.
The City Engineers’ Office had recommended the condemnation of the five-story building with 56 housing units, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said at a briefing.
Unit owners were informed about the building’s unsafe status, but some renters opted to stay because they had nowhere else to go, the mayor said. The city’s legal office would look into possible charges, she said.
Mr. Duterte, who was in Davao when the quake struck, was safe, his spokesman Salvador S. Panelo told ABS-CBN News Channel.
The Labor department was ready to allocate funds for workers affected by the recent earthquakes in Mindanao, it said in a statement. — with reports from Maya M. Padillo, Gillian M. Cortez, Victor V. Saulon and Reuters