The Daily Manila Shimbun


(UPDATE) At least six people die in magnitude 6.7 quake hits Surigao del Norte

February 11, 2017

At least six people died while 126 were injured due to a magnitude 6.7 earthquake that hit the province of Surigao Del Norte on Friday night.

The earthquake, tectonic in origin, was recorded 14 km north 78 degrees west of Surigao City around 10:03 pm.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology Seismology (Phivolcs) recorded the highest, intensity six in Surigao City and Pintuyan in Southern Leyte. Intensity five was recorded in Mandaue City, San Ricardo, Limasawa and San Francisco, Southern Leyte.

Intensity four was felt in Hinunangan, Southern Leyte and Butuan City while intensity three over Hibok-hibok, Camiguin, Tolosa and Tacloban, Leyte, Bislig City, Gingoog City and Misamis Oriental and intensity two in Bislig City, then intensity one at Cebu City and Cagayan de Oro City.

No tsunami alert was raised and 98 aftershocks, including one that occurred when Transport Secretary Art Tugade arrived for an inspection.

Ramon Gotinga, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer in Surigao Del Norte said three fatalities identified as Robert  Eludo Jr.,39, JM Ariar, 4, and Lito Wilson were recorded in Caraga Regional Hospital while Roda Paganahan 83, died at Miranda Medical Clinic.

Gotinga said three died after being hit by fallen debris while Paganahan died due to a heart attack.

He said based on the report of the Philippine National Police, Lorenzo Dequino, 86, and Winefreda Bernal, 66, died after being hit by fallen debris. “They were not able to reach the hospital,” he said.

Malacañang assured prompt and substantive action from the government in response to the 6.7-magnitude quake that hit Surigao del Norte.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said  the social welfare department regional office has prepositioned family food packs to  hard-to-reach areas.

“Concerned officials are now in Surigao City to conduct monitoring and damaged assessment. Rescue operations are ongoing with Quick Response Teams already mobilized," Andanar said.

Andanar said “the DSWD Regional Office has prepositioned 8, 258 family food packs to geographically hard-to-reach areas” affected by the earthquake.

“The DSWD Regional Warehouse has a stockpile of 14,637 family packs.  The DSWD Field Office has a stockpile of 14,637 family packs and standby fund amounting to P2,895,921.91,” he said.

Andanar said the “local disaster and local social welfare officials have been instructed to monitor closely the situation.”

The coast guard sent a search and rescue vessel to deliver drinking water.

Aizy Lyn Paglinawan, Office of Civil Defense in Caraga Region Information Officer said 80 of the injured patients were brought to Caraga Regional Hospital while 21 were confined at the Surigao Medical Center, three in Malimono District Hospital and eight more at Miranda Medical Clinic all in Surigao City.

Gotinga said no buildings or houses collapsed in the city but  a major bridge that connects the city of Surigao and the municipalities of San Francisco and Malimono all in Surigao Del Norte was damaged.

“The Anao-aon bridge (was affected). It is very important because two municipalities were isolated because of the damage of this bridge,” he said.

He said the provincial engineer showed two diversionary roads in the area so people can cross if the water level in the lake is lower.

Gotinga said flights going to and from the airport of Surigao City were cancelled due to cracks on the runway.

“All the flight here was cancelled because the (runway) is indefinite according to the CAAP airport manager of Surigao City,” he said.

“The runway has 300 plus meters crack, the land cracks… apparently the damage is big because according to CAAP it will take week’s maybe months to repair and restore operation.

In a text message from CAAP. Emerson Salas as of 12:45pm the estimated damaged area on the runway of Surigao City airport has reached to 21,000 square meters.

“Cost of repair P73 million, completion date is 30 days,” he said.

Paglinawan said the flights going to Surigao City may be rerouted to Butuan City Airport depending on the decision of the airlines.

Gilbert Gonzales, Assistant Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer in Surigao Del Norte confirmed the whole city of Surigao  experienced problems in water supply as water pipes were damaged..

“There are pipes that were cut so totally there is no water supply,” he said.

Gonzalez said according to their water district 25 percent of the water supply may restore Saturday night and 50 percent restoration is expected by Sunday noon.

He said Surigao del Norte is experiencing power interruption because of the quake and a cheduled maintenance activity by the electric cooperative.

“The power supply began to stop after the earthquake and it so happened there is a scheduled maintenance work today from 6 am to 6 pm. We are expecting power restoration tonight,” he said.

Because of the damage caused by the earthquake, Paglinawan confirmed that the Surigao City was placed under state of calamity.

Paglinawan said there were evacuation centers prepared for the affected families but she noted there were no evacuees as of Saturday afternoon.

She said they are still conducting rapid assessment and needs analysis to determine the needed assistance in the affected areas  Robina Asido/DMS