1 killed in 6.9 earthquake in Davao; President Duterte, family safe



MANILA, Philippines – A strong 6.9 struck early afternoon Sunday in Davao del Sur in Mindanao leaving at least one casualty, with scores injured and feared trapped under several structures that allegedly collapsed.

The Davao del Sur Public Information said a six-year-old girl in Matanao town was the only confirmed casualty at press time Sunday while 12 persons were injured and several others were feared trapped when a couple of structures collapsed in Padada town, both in Davao del Sur.

The public information office identified the casualty as one Cherbelchen Imgador who was accordingly inside their house in Barangay Asinan in Matanao when it collapsed.

President Duterte, who was in Davao City when the temblor struck, was reported safe along with his family.


The Sunstar community newspaper in Davao reported that in Padada, Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer Luke Cadoyas made an urgent call for assistance in conducting search and rescue operations because his team is not properly equipped and skilled.

The call was made through the PIA.

Two commercial buildings and an old water reservoir collapsed in Padada.

Four were injured near the Southern Trade store while eight residents near the reservoir were also hurt.

Several shoppers and employees were believed trapped in Southern Trade.

No casualties were reported when the second building, the two-story Canlas Commercial building, also collapsed.

Several roads and bridges in Davao region, meanwhile, were found to have sustained cracks after the tremor, officials said.

Duterte safe

President Rodrigo Duterte, who was at home in Davao City with his daughter Veronica “Kitty”, is unhurt, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo assured.

Veronica and her mother, Honeylet Avanceña, are also fine. Avanceña was on her way home when the ground shook. Panelo said her car swayed, but she was unhurt.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) initially reported the epicenter of the strong tremor near Padada, but later revised its advisory.

Phivolcs said the tectonic quake struck nine kilometers north of Matanao town, still in Davao del Sur, at a depth of only three kilometers at 2:11 p.m. Sunday, December 15, 2019.

In its latest advisory, Phivolcs said the quake occurred five kilometers north of Matanao.

Phivolcs had warned that damage and aftershocks were expected. A magnitude 5.2 quake occurred about an hour later, at 3:09 p.m., about 19 kilometers south of Matanao.

The Davao City Information Office said the Mahayahay Bridge on Diversion Road has been closed to vehicles because of cracks.

As of 4 p.m. Sunday, all vehicles have been diverted to Matina Crossing going to McArthur Highway.

The Davao City Government said it was coordinating with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on this matter.

Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian Z. Duterte, as acting mayor, suspended classes in all levels in both public and private schools in Davao City on Monday, December 16.

Classes in technical and vocational schools are also suspended.

The President’s youngest son said this is to pave for the inspection of all school buildings to check on their structural integrity following the quake.

Areas with structural damage are to be immediately condemned and closed to the public.

Resumption of classes will be on a case-to-case basis on Tuesday, December 17.

Meanwhile, the NDRRMC reported the following intensities that came with the quake:

Reported Intensities:

Intensity VII – Matanao and Magsaysay, Davao del Sur

Intensity VI – Kidapawan City; General Santos City; Bansalan, Davao del Sur; Alabel and Malapatan,

Sarangani; Koronadal City

Intensity V – Tulunan and Matalam, Cotabato; Cotabato City; Davao City; Glan, Sarangani

Intensity III – Kalilangan, Talakag and Dangcagan, Bukidnon

Intensity II – Impasugong, Bukidnon; Cagayan de Oro City; Dipolog City

Intensity I – Zamboanga del Sur

Instrumental Intensities:

Intensity VIII – Malungon, Sarangani

Intensity VI – Alabel, Sarangani; Kidapawan City

Intensity V – General Santos City; Koronadal City; Tupi, South Cotabato

Intensity III – Gingoog City

Intensity II – Zamboanga City; Kiamba, Sarangani

In a press update, the Department of Transportation and affiliated agencies said that the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said there was “negative damage” in the General Santos Airport and in Zamboanga, Davao, Laguindingan, Cotabato, Butuan, Surigao, and Pagadian.

LTFRB offices in Regions 11 and 12, the Davao International Airport’s passenger terminal building and runway, Philippine Coast Guard structures all reported no damage to their structures.

No bus terminals in the region have been damaged, the transportation department said.


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