GENERAL SANTOS CITY – A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck Maguindanao and was felt in other parts of Mindanao on Saturday, August 13.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the Saturday earthquake happened at 2:25 pm, with the epicenter located at Datu Blah T. Sinsuat in Maguindanao. The agency warned of damage and aftershocks.
The earthquake came four days short of the 46th anniversary of the 1976 magnitude 8 temblor dubbed by many as the “Midnight Killer.” The Moro Gulf earthquake’s epicenter was located near Lebak town in Sultan Kudarat.
Lebak and other places in Mindanao felt Saturday’s earthquake in varying intensities:
- Intensity V – Datu Blah Sinsuat, South Upi, and Upi, Maguindanao; Cotabato City; Esperanza, Lebak, Palimbang, Kalamansig, Sen. Ninoy Aquino, and Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat
- Intensity IV – General Santos City; Zamboanga City; Pagadian City; Isabela City, Basilan; Antipas, Alamada, Tulunan, Pigcawayan, Kabacan, and Banisilan, Cotabato; Koronadal City, Tupi, Polomolok, Santo Niño, Surallah, Tampakan and Banga, South Cotabato; Kiamba and Maitum, Sarangani; Lutayan and Isulan, Sultan Kudarat; Datu Odin Sinsuat and Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao
- Intensity III – Ozamiz City; M’lang, Makilala, and Tantangan, Cotabato; Norala, South Cotabato; Pres. Quirino and Columbio, Sultan Kudarat; Maasim, Sarangani; Pitogo and Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur; Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte; Siay, Zamboanga Sibugay
- Intensity II – Dipolog City; Cagayan de Oro City; Davao City; Kidapawan City; El Salvador City; Aleosan, Cotabato; Don Carlos, Cabanglasan, and Valencia City, Bukidnon; Malapatan and Malungon, Sarangani; Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat; Leon B. Postigo, Siayan, Sindangan, Gutalac, Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte; Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay; Tubod, Lenamon, Balo-i, Kauswagan, Bacolod, Maigo, Lala, Kapatagan and Iligan City, Lanao del Norte
- Intensity I – Dapitan City; Malitbog and Libona, Bukidnon; Initao, Misamis Oriental
Government worker Bobby Catubig from Isulan, Sultan Kudarat said they have no report of damage so far, but the tremors sent shoppers and workers rushing out of buildings. A closed circuit television footage in a supermarket showed clients rushing out as grocery items fell from their shelves.
Authorities in some of these areas said they are checking on possible damage in infrastructures or landslide, considering that South Upi is a mountainous municipality.
Some of these areas were the hardest hit in the powerful 1976 earthquake, with the coastal town of Lebak all the way to Maguindanao and Cotabato City taking the brunt of a tsunami that residents then described to be as tall as a coconut tree.
The earthquake toppled bridges, power pylons, and buildings, virtually flattening Cotabato City, where this writer was then residing and attending college.
The 1976 earthquake went down as the strongest in the country’s history, killing an estimated 8,000, many of whom had remained missing. – Rappler.com