MANILA, Philippines – A magnitude 6 earthquake struck Masbate province and other parts of Bicol region early Thursday morning, February 16, as most people in the affected areas were asleep.
The quake happened at 2:10 am near the town of Batuan, Masbate, said the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
Phivolcs said it was expecting damage and aftershocks.
The quake, tectonic in origin, had a depth of 10 kilometers.
Batuan, a fifth-class municipality, had a population of at least 15,000, based on the last census.
The following intensities were reported:
- Intensity VII – City of Masbate, Masbate
- Intensity V – Dimasalang, San Fernando, and Uson, Masbate
- Intensity IV – City of Legazpi, Albay; Aroroy, Cataingan, Esperanza, Milagros, and Pio V. Corpuz, Masbate; Irosin, and City of Sorsogon, Sorsogon
- Intensity III – Daraga, Albay.
Masbate City Mayor Socrates Tuason suspended classes in both private and public schools, as well as work in government offices “to pave the way for monitoring and inspection of structural integrity of buildings and offices.”
As of writing, Phivolcs has recorded at least 30 aftershocks following the magnitude 6 earthquake.
In an interview on the ABS-CBN News Channel on Thursday, February 16, Dr. Adonis Dilao, head of the Masbate Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, said Masbate’s coliseum was damaged but no injuries had been reported yet.
Dilao said the aftershocks were keeping many citizens awake and outside their homes.
He said the province was struck by a magnitude 5 quake on February 15, Wednesday, with the city of Masbate reporting an Intensity 6 from this afternoon tremor. – Rappler.com
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