Magnitude 6 earthquake shakes Surigao del Sur, surrounding areas

A MAGNITUDE 6 earthquake shook Surigao del Sur at around 6:30 a.m. Monday, with the epicenter located in San Agustin town. The tremor was initially reported at magnitude 6.4 and later adjusted by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismoloy (Phivolcs).  Intensity 5 was reported in the coastal city of Bislig and the town of Rosario in Agusan del Sur province. Cagayan de Oro City and several towns in Misamis Oriental felt intensity 4. Phivolcs said damage and aftershocks were expected. Among the first reported impacts was on the water distribution system in the coastal town of Hinatuan, where supply was temporarily cut off. Hinatuan is about 73 kilometers from the epicenter. A no-tsunami threat advisory was also issued after the earthquake.

Iloilo city resto-bars ordered to close until end-Nov.

ILOILO City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas has ordered all restaurant-bars to temporarily stop operating until the end of the month following reports of violations of health protocols and the liquor ban. “We will close all resto bars starting today up to the end of the month in deference to the rules of the national IATF (inter-agency task force). We cannot police all the bars in the city,” Mr. Treñas said in a statement issued on Nov. 16. Prior to Monday’s directive, the city government imposed a closure order against at least 24 establishments for serving alcoholic beverages, failure to install the required plastic barriers, or operating without a business permit. “I am very disappointed because I personally took time to explain to the restaurant groups and associations the need to stop serving alcoholic drinks,” the mayor said on Nov. 14, “When we allowed the serving of alcoholic drinks months ago, we found out that the cases went up. Drinking session with a group has become a mode of transmission. In one case, we traced up to 20 plus positive cases in one area because they were drinking together.” He added, “If we will have a spike in cases because of these violators, we will then be forced to lockdown our city again.” As of Nov. 15, the city had 4,215 total coronavirus cases, with 204 active, 3,903 recoveries and 108 deaths.

Transport dep’t signs deal with 3 firms for EDSA Busway bridges with concourse

SM Prime Holdings, Inc., D.M. Wenceslao and Associates, Inc., and Double Dragon Properties Corp. signed on Monday an agreement with the Transportation department for the construction of EDSA Busway bridges with concourse. The three private firms will be donating the structures, the Transportation department said in a statement. The bridges with concourse are “indispensable components of the new EDSA Busway to further provide safer, more convenient, and PWD (persons with disabilities)-friendly walkways for the riding public using the EDSA Busway stations, and for pedestrians crossing EDSA from one side to the other,” it added. The structures will be located at the following sites: SM Mall of Asia, SM North EDSA, SM Megamall, President D. Macapagal Boulevard in Aseana City, and at EDSA near the corner of President D. Macapagal Avenue. The EDSA Busway is a system that utilizes a dedicated median lane for public utility buses. It runs from Monumento in Caloocan City to the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City. “Since its launch, the EDSA Busway has effectively reduced travel time from the previous 3-3.5 hours from Monumento to PITX, to just 50 minutes to 1 hour,” it said. — Arjay L. Balinbin