SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 10 Feb) – A 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck Surigao City 10:03 p.m. Friday, sending the entire city into blackout, cutting water supply and damaging some structures.
Residents, meanwhile, ran towards higher ground, afraid that tsunami might follow suit.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) pinpointed the epicenter at the Surigao Strait (09.83°N, 125.37°E), 14 km northwest of Surigao City.
The PHIVOLCS website said it was expecting damage and aftershocks.
Manuel Kong, a member of the board of director of the Surigao Metropolitan Water District, said the entire city has no water now because of the damage wrought by the earthquake.
The façade of Parkway Hotel collapsed while the roof of Gaisano Mall was damaged.
Patients of the Surigao Medical Center and Miranda Family Hospital, some still with dextrose on their arms, went outside and preferred to stay by the roadside along the highway, fearing that the building would collapse.
Parts of the entrance gate of the Surigao State College and Technology collapsed, while some parked vehicles by the roadside were damaged with debris falling from building.
“I thought it was my end,” said Clyde Velarde, 18, of Km. 2 in Barangay Luna.
The house of Wilfredo Magpatoc in Purok 12 Navalca in Barangay San Juan, which was made mostly of wood, collapsed. “I felt goose bumps during the earthquake,” he told MindaNews.
Journalist Danilo Adorador, editor of a weekly paper, said there were cracks on the walls of his rented house.
“Mass hysteria here, people assembling everywhere but obviously don’t know where to go or what to do. Those who have transport are racing to higher ground,” Adorador posted on his Facebook wall.
The quake was felt in many parts of Mindanao as Facebook posts screamed “Earthquake!” from residents as far as Cagayan de Oro and Iligan.
According to Phivolcs Earthquake Bulletin No. 3, the quake registered Intensity VI in Surigao City and Pintuyan, Southern Leyte; Intensity V in Mandaue City, San Ricardo, Limasawa and San Francisco, Southern Leyte; Intensity IV in Hinunangan, Southern Leyte and Butuan City; Intensity III in Hibok-hibok, Camiguin, Tolosa and Tacloban, Leyte, Misamis Oriental and the cities of Bislig, Gingoog; Intensity II in Cagayan de Oro, Talaogcon in Agusan del Sur, and the cities of Dumaguete and Cebu.
Wenceslao Chee Kee, an NGO worker, was in his room on the fourth floor of Boulevard Tourist Inn when the quake struck.
He told MindaNews he and other guests ran to the ground floor where he saw broken glass windows on the second floor. He said he saw some cracks in the concrete building. (Roel N. Catoto, with reports from Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)