Magnitude 6.5 earthquake jolts Tulunan town in N. Cotabato anew

Marje Pelayo   •   October 31, 2019   •   1035

NORTH COTABATO, Philippines – Another strong earthquake rocked the town of Tulunan around 9:00 AM on Thursday (October 31).

According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), the epicenter of the earthquake was recorded at 33 kilometers Northeast of Tulunan town.

The said location is the same epicenter of the two powerful tremors, magnitude 6.3 and 6.5, that happened on October 16 and 29, respectively.

At a depth of two kilometers, the shaking was felt in several areas with varying intensities – Intensity VII in Tulunan, Cotabato; Kidapawan City; Bansalan, Davao del Sur; and Intensity VI in the municipality Matanao, Davao Del Sur.

Since the powerful earthquake on Tuesday, a total of 731 aftershocks have been recorded in the affected areas.

PHIVOLCS advised residents to stay alert as more aftershocks are expected in the coming days. – MNP (with inputs 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)

Heavy rains, strong winds rip tents at Makilala, Cotabato evacuation sites

Robie de Guzman   •   November 12, 2019

Villagers rest at a makeshift shelter in the earthquake-hit town of Makilala on Mindanao island, Philippines, 01 November 2019. EPA-EFE/CERILO EBRANO

Strong winds and heavy rains destroyed several makeshift tents at two evacuation centers where some of the evacuees in Makilala, North Cotabato are staying following the recent earthquakes that hit Mindanao.

According to a CNEWS report by Raymond Octobre on Tuesday, evacuees endured thunderstorms on Monday afternoon while staying in their temporary shelters in Makilala Central Elementary School.

A cellphone video taken by one of the evacuees showed makeshift tents being destroyed and pulled apart by strong winds and heavy rains coupled with ice pellets.

At the Santos Land evacuation center in Poblacion, Makilala, several tents erected using tarpaulin and bamboo wood were also ripped apart by heavy rains that lasted for almost an hour.

Sheryl Orbita, acting Municipal Administrator of Makilala, assured no one was injured while an individual was brought to a hospital after falling unconscious.

Orbita added that evacuees affected by the heavy rains have been given assistance.

More than 50 families from the Santos Land evacuation center were also transferred to a temporary shelter in Makilala National High School while around 100 other families opted to remain in the area.

“Dinalhan naman din sila ng pagkain doon na luto na tsaka mga damit kasi nabasa yung iba may mga damit doon sa nililipatan nila,” Orbita said.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said that as of November 12, there are 20 evacuation centers catering to more than 4,700 families in Makilala.

Overall, there are 69 evacuation centers serving a total of 53,612 quake-hit families in Davao and Soccsksargen regions. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Raymond Octobre)

Earthquake damage, losses in Mindanao agriculture reach P13M

Marje Pelayo   •   November 7, 2019

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)

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