DAVAO ORIENTAL, Philippines – The magnitude 5.9 earthquake and its aftershocks that struck Davao de Oro on Tuesday afternoon, March 7, continued to impact the province’s power supply, causing damage to homes, commercial establishments, and landslides, and forcing many families to evacuate to safer areas.
Joseph Randy Loy, head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), reported that there were still many aftershocks felt on Wednesday morning, March 8, and at least 229 families had already sought refuge in the town of Nabunturan alone. Loy expected the number of evacuees to increase.
Tuesday’s earthquake occurred during the Bulawan Festival and 25th Charter Day celebration of Davao de Oro and was followed by a 5.6 magnitude aftershock on the same day. It also marked the second instance since Monday that earthquakes and aftershocks jolted the province in the Davao Region.
The PDRRMO has recorded seven destroyed houses as a result of the earthquakes.
The earthquake caused a province-wide power outage on Tuesday afternoon and when it was restored, the supply was fluctuating. The province lost its power supply again on Wednesday morning.
“This morning, we still felt many aftershocks,” Joseph Randy Loy, the head of Davao de Oro’s PDRRMO told Rappler.
The earthquake also caused damage to the Gaisano Mall in Nabunturan, the province’s biggest, which was forced to temporarily close.
The earthquake also caused damage in other areas and was felt in nearby provinces and regions.
Mati City Councilor JR Pang said the earthquake caused damage to goods at ER Supermall, the largest mall in Davao Oriental’s Mati, which is owned by his family.
Due to the earthquake, Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy ordered the suspension of work and classes in public and private schools until Wednesday. Tagum is a city in Davao del Norte located near the epicenter.
Landslides have obstructed vehicular traffic in some areas, but the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is working to clear the roads.
Two roads in Davao de Oro have already been cleared, but a section of the Montevista-Compostela-Mati road is still not passable to all types of vehicles due to earthquake-induced landslides. – Rappler.com
Ferdinand Zuasola is an Aries Rufo Journalism fellow.
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