Aftershocks, damage possible from Davao Occ quake

MANILA — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) is expecting aftershocks and damages from the magnitude 7.2 earthquake this Saturday below waters off Sarangani municipality in Mindanao’s Davao Occidental province.

“Moderate-sized aftershocks are still possible so people there must prepare accordingly,” said Phivolcs seismology officer-in-charge Ishmael Narag.

He however noted that the aftershocks will weaken over time.

Latest Phivolcs data show the 4:23 a.m. earthquake of tectonic origin struck 53 km. south 30 degrees west of Sarangani at a depth of 57 km.

Phivolcs said the earthquake was reported at Intensity 5 in General Santos City; Koronadal City; Santa Maria, Jose Abad Santos, Don Marcelino, Balot Island, Davao Occidental; Polomolok, Tupi, South Cotabato; Alabel, Malapatan, Glan, Sarangani and Palimbag, Sultan Kudarat. It was also reported at Intensity 4 in Davao City, Cotabato City and Zamboanga City; Intensity 3 in Cagayan De Oro City; and Intensity 2 in Kidapawan City.

The earthquake was also reported at instrumental intensities 5 in General Santos City, 4 in Zamboanga City, and 3 in Cotabato City.

Occurrence of the earthquake prompted Phivolcs to earlier warn people against staying in beaches and near coasts facing the Celebes Sea due to possible sea level disturbances.

Those beaches and coasts are in Sarangani, Davao Occidental, South Cotabato, Davao Oriental and Sultan Kudarat, said Phivolcs.

Phivolcs at 6:54 a.m. Saturday already cancelled its warning about staying in beaches and nearing coasts there, however, expecting no more sea disturbance threat to the public. Catherine J. Teves/