Earthquake damage, losses in Mindanao agriculture reach P13M

Marje Pelayo   •   November 7, 2019   •   287

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) has noted the extent of damage that the recent earthquakes have caused to agriculture in North Cotabato and Davao del Sur.

Based on its latest report, the DA said damage and losses in earthquake-affected areas have already increased to P13.33 million from the initial P4.55 million.

The increase in the amount is attributed to the additional structural damage in Davao del Sur.

Among those damaged were several agricultural facilities, irrigation systems, and office buildings.

The DA assured that its regional offices are having an on-going physical inspection of the affected areas to further estimate the cost of damage and losses incurred.

Meanwhile, relief support has been continuously distributed to affected residents through the DA’s collaboration with concerned government agencies and non-governmental organizations. MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

Duterte visits, vows aid to quake victims in North Cotabato

Robie de Guzman   •   December 30, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday assured continued support for residents in North Cotabato towns that were devastated by earthquakes between October to December 15 that shook parts of Mindanao.

“I assure you that the government will continue to help all of you until you are able to get back on your feet and start anew with renewed hope and greater capacity to lead dignified lives,” Duterte said in a speech during his visit to M’lang, North Cotabato.

Aside from meeting quake victims, the chief executive also distributed food packs as well as financial grants to residents from earthquake-stricken towns in the province.

North Cotabato is among the provinces heavily damaged by the series of earthquakes that jolted parts of the Mindanao region.

Last October, the province of Cotabato suffered three succeeding temblors – magnitude 6.3 on October 16, magnitude 6.6 on October 29 and magnitude 6.5 on October 31.

On November 1, a magnitude 5.0 quake struck Makilala, Cotabato just a few hours after a magnitude 5.5 tremor hit waters off Sarangani province.

The latest was a magnitude 6.9 temblor that hit Davao del Sur and shook neighboring areas on December 15.

The earthquakes displaced thousands of residents who are now staying in evacuation shelters.

Duterte said he has ordered the National Housing Authority (NHA) to fast-track the setting up of housing units for those who were rendered homeless by the recent quakes.

The president expressed hope that the assistance he extended will make the victims feel the warmth and joy of the season despite their current situation. He also apologized for not visiting them sooner.

“I condole with you. I share your grief. Sa totoo lang, kaya ako andito, pinilit ko, and I must apologize, I am very sorry that I couldn’t be here immediately. Marami hong problema sa Maynila,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Fault system in S. Mindanao possibly to generate higher than M6 earthquake —PHIVOLCS

Marje Pelayo   •   December 17, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Mindanao region has been experiencing strong ground shaking in the past months.

The most recent was a magnitude 6.9 earthquake on Sunday (December 15) which according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) was caused by the Tangbulan fault, a 69.2 kilometer stretch that traverses Davao del Sur to Davao Oriental.

According to PHIVOLCS OIC and S&T Undersecretary Renato Solidum, these movements can cause other faults in the region to move as well.

From 1908 to 1970, around five incidents of ground shaking with intensities no stronger than 5 to 8 were experienced across the Davao Region.

The agency noted Southern Mindanao as among the places in the country that sit on multiple fault systems.

The Tangbulan fault alone, the agency explained, can generate up to magnitude 7.2 earthquake.

Towards the east of Tangbulan fault is the Digos fault which can produce up to magnitude 6.3 tremor.

Towards the west is the Makilala-Malungon fault which can generate up to magnitude 7.2 earthquake and is connected to the Cotabato Fault system.

Near the Cotabato fault system lies other faults including the Makilala Fault, Balabag Fault, Matalam Fault, M’lang Fault, North Columbio Fault and the South Columbio Fault.

These faults also can cause ground shaking even stronger than magnitude 6.

The earthquake in October this year, PHIVOLCS noted, was caused by the Cotabato Fault System.

The agency is now closely monitoring the movements of these faults especially those which have been active in the past 10 years.

“Overall sa Mindanao, itong Cotabato-Davao del Sur area ay isa sa rehiyon na walang masyadong malakas na earthquake (Overall in Mindanao, this Cotabato-Davao del Sur stretch is one area in the region that produces small earthquakes),” Solidum said.

“Ibig sabihin may fault, naiipon ang energy, and at some point magbibigay ito, ipapakawala niya ang energy kung kumilos ang fault. So mga strong to major earthquakes ang kaya niya (This means, these faults are generating energy and at some point, it will eventually release this energy when the fault moves. That time, they can produce strong to major earthquakes),” the official added.

Aside from structural damages, PHIVOLCS also warns of possible landslide due to aftershocks or strong rains in mountainous areas where cracks are already visible because of the previous ground shaking. MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

Search for survivors continues in Padada, Davao del Sur

Marje Pelayo   •   December 17, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Rescue units are having a hard time getting inside the rubble of the collapsed South Green Marketing Building in the hope of pulling out survivors believed to be trapped after the magnitude 6.9 earthquake that struck on Sunday (December 15).

Rescuers also fear for their lives because aside from narrow passages, frequent aftershocks increase the risk of the operation.

On Monday night, rescuers hurried away from the site when a strong shaking disrupted their work.

It was around 10:00 p.m. when the third body was recovered from the rubble.

The victim was identified as Emily Galyegos Beloy, 31 years old.

According to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) the victim was able to send messages to her co-workers early Monday before she died.

As of press time, a total of four fatalities have been confirmed, all from Davao del Sur.

Three were from a collapsed building while the fourth one was a six year old girl who was trapped inside their home in Matanao, Davao del Sur.

Authorities are still looking for six others missing who are believed to have been trapped under the collapsed building.

The earthquake caused massive damage in the town of Padada that’s why the state of calamity remains in effect.

The local government unit has called for support for the affected residents.

“Kung pwede sana makabigay sila ng tent aa amin, pangalawa yung portalet, (If possible, please donate tents and portalets),” said Mayor Pedro Caminero Jr. of Padada, Davao del Sur.

The LGU has not designated any location for an evacuation center since the situation remains risky of aftershocks.

Most residents are staying outside of their collapsed homes and so they are asking for temporary shelters such as tents from the local government. – MNP (with details from Marisol Montaño)

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