NDRRMC on ‘red alert’ as magnitude 7.2 quake hits Davao Occidental

MANILA — The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has placed its operations center on red alert following the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck Sarangani, Davao Occidental on Saturday.

This took place around 9 a.m. of April 29, NDRRMC executive director Ricardo Jalad said in an update.

Previously, the NDRRM Operations Center was on “blue alert” but Saturday’s massive quake prompted the raising of “red alert” for possible contigencies.

Jalad also ordered all Office of Civil Defense, provincial and local disaster response units in the affected areas to undertake precautionary measures and monitor possible after effects of the tremblor.

The strong earthquake, which struck 4:23 a.m. near Sarangani town in Davao Occidental, also prompted the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) to issue a tsunami advisory.

PHIVOLCS also warned residents and tourists to stay away from beaches fronting the Celebes Sea from 4:28 a.m. to 5:23 a.m. because of possible big waves generated by the quake.

The agency lifted the advisory a few minutes before 7 a.m., saying the threat of any tsunami had passed and only a 10-centimeter wave was monitored.

The earthquake was felt at Intensity 5 in General Santos City; Koronadal City, South Cotabato; Santa Maria, Jose Abad Santos, and Don Marcelino towns, as well as Balot Island of Davao Occidental; Polomolok and Tupi, South Cotabato; Alabel, Malapatan, and Glan towns of Sarangani province; and in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat. Priam Nepomuceno/PNA-northboundasia.com