ILOILO CITY – After declaring the suspension of classes at all levels in Iloilo City, the mayor has placed this city under “blue alert” to continuously monitor the situation following the series of quakes that hit Panay and Guimaras islands and felt in this regional center on Monday.
“After meeting with the CDRRMC (City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council), this afternoon, classes in all levels will resume tomorrow, until further notice. We are on blue alert, and continuously monitoring the situation,” Mayor Jose Espinosa III announced.
Data from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) showed that an Intensity 3 tremor hit Iloilo City at 7:45 a.m., Intensity 4 at 7:46 a.m. and 10:54 a.m.
Following the series of earthquakes, Espinosa ordered the suspension of classes in all levels to ensure the safety of students as well as at the city hall in the afternoon in anticipation of possible aftershocks.
The city mayor, however, left to the discretion of private companies and national government agencies whether to declare suspension of work.
Meanwhile, other municipalities in Iloilo province also suspended classes. Based on the Facebook account of Dr. Lea Belleza, regional information officer of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Western Visayas, classes were also suspended in the municipalities of Guimbal, Miag-ao, Maasin, Pototan, San Miguel, New Lucena, Tigbauan, Leon, Tubungan, Mina and Pavia.
Two municipalities in Guimaras also suspended their classes as a result of the earthquake.
Jaypee Entedicho, public information officer of the island province, said that classes in Jordan and Nueva Valencia were suspended by virtue of Executive Orders 45 and 25, respectively.
Four epicenters of the 12 successive quakes that were felt in Panay and Guimaras were in Sibunag and Buenavista towns of Guimaras.
Meanwhile, the epicenter of the strongest temblor that occurred around 10:54 a.m. at magnitude 4.8 was in Guimbal, Iloilo.
The epicenter of the successive quakes was Leon, Iloilo.
Alleth Nogra, chief of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Division of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Western Visayas, said that the Department of Education should now consider looking into the structural integrity of school buildings.
The same shall also be conducted in government buildings, hospitals and business establishments, among others.
The last strong quake in Western Visayas occurred in 1948 and was dubbed “Lady Caycay” due to the shaking that felt like someone was “naghuhukay” or digging into the soil. At 8.6 magnitude, it damaged the belfry of the Jaro Cathedral. Perla Lena/PNA-northboundasia.com