MANILA, Philippines – After almost two weeks after a 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit Mindanao last October 31, 2019, a local chief executive in Kidapawan, considered as one of many areas hardest by the tremor, has ordered demolition of damaged buildings.
Prominent of these, is the six-story Eva’s Hotel which stands dangerously near a busy junction in Kidapawan.
To that effect, Kidapawan Mayor Joseph Evangelista said he had given a week’snotice to the owners to demolish the building.
However, the owners had allegedly asked for another week’s extension.
Claudio Street and Quezon Boulevard, where the hotel is located next to Kidapawan Doctors ‘ Hospital, remain closed to traffic even after this capital city of Cotabato has begun to recover from the devastation caused by the earthquake that left 23 people dead and tens of thousands homeless in the worst-hit parts of the province and Davao del Sur.
Eva’s Hotel now looks like a five-story building, with the upper floors dropping to the first level. The columned exterior is crumpled like a paper bag, with columns leaning against the heavily damaged front wall.
So far, only one of the 20 or 23 buildings ordered closed after the earthquake has been condemned, Evangelista said.
On Saturday, Artchie Viloria, the son of the owners of the building, said they had asked for another week’s extension because the P5 million requested by the demolition company that the city government had approved was too much for them.
Viloria, the hotel manager, said the family was searching for a contractor who would pay a “reasonable price” for the work.
He said they had been given an ultimatum by the city government to demolish the house, or it would demolish the building itself, and they would not be able to get the “recoverables” stuck inside the tower.
“Imagine, in the hotel, there are still the air conditioners, the televisions in all of the 61 rooms and the orthopedic equipment there. How much do they cost?” he said. “The top floor of the building is where we live. We are still trying to recover all of our belongings there.”
Mayor Evangelista said four other structures that suffered heavy damage could also be
He said a group of structural engineers went around the city on Thursday to evaluate the quality of the structures and decide which of the 20 to 23 commercial buildings that had been closed could be retrofitted and allowed to resume service. (Chris Figueroa/IAMIGO/CNS)