Classes in Surigao suspended as magnitude 5.9 quake leaves one dead, 37 injured

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 05 March) —  Surigao del Norte Governor Sol Matugas has ordered the suspension of classes in all levels in public and private schools here Monday and in four neighboring towns here follwoing the 5.9 magnitude earthquake that jolted this city at 8:08 a.m. Sunday, leaving one person dead and 37 injured.

Only four of the 37 injured remain confined in the hospital while the rest returned home after treatment.

Residents here have been experiencing a series of aftershocks since the magnitude 6.7 quake struck the city late evening of February 10. Nine persons were killed while at least 200 others were injured. Several structures were damaged.

Cases of soft drinks were broken after a magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck Surigao City  at 8:08 a.m. Sunday, 5 March 2017. MindaNews photo by ROEL CATOTO

The governor suspended classes in Surigao City and the towns of San Francisco, Sison, Tagana-an, Malimono and Mainit to allow school administrators to assess the condition of their buildings.

Socorro Celis, 65, suffered a cardiac arrest when the quake, recorded at Intensity 6 here, struck, her granddaughter Nona said.

Renato Solidum, director of Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said a 5.9 magnitude stuck in Surigao City. Intensity 6 was felt in Surigao City.


At the Caraga Regional Hospital, injured residents rushed to the emergency section while patients confined in the hospital rushed outside. It was the same situation at the Surigao Medical Center.

Carlita Awatin, 62, of Purok 6, San Juan in Barangay Washington was preparing

TREATED. Carlita Awatin of Barangay Washington leaves the Caraga Regional Hospital in Surigao City after getting treatment from burns she sustained when a magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck at 8:08 a.m. Sunday, 5 March 2017 just as she was pouring boiled water on a cup. MindaNews photo by ROEL CATOTO

breakfast and was about to pour boiled water on a cup when the quake struck. She suffered burns on her head, arms and body. Her nine year old grandson, Bryllzeus Paredes who was beside her was not spared. Both sought treatment at the Caraga Hospital.

Norbina Ramirez, 76, of Ferdinand Street in Barangay Washington was pinned down by a concrete wall of her house that crashed. Her daughter Dahlia Padal with her husband came to rescue her underneath the rubble and rushed her to the hospital.

Residents have been suffering from trauma here since the February 10 quake and its aftershocks.

Damaged Houses

Two houses were reported to have partially collapsed — one along Narciso corner P. Reyes Streets and the other in Kaskag, Barangay Washington.

In San Franscico, Surigao del Norte, houses that suffered damages during the Feb. 10 quake have become more precarious.

AFTER THE QUAKE. A house along Surigao River in Kaskag, Barangay Washington, Surigao City leans after a magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck at 8:08 a.m. Sunday, 5 March 2017. A resident succumbed to cardiac arrest while 37 others were injured but only four remain confined in the hospital. MindaNews photo by ROEL CATOTO

Some residents who were crossing the bridge that collapsed on February 10, jumped off the bridge when the quake struck.

“Isig pangambak kay basin malumpag ang tulay” (They jumped thinking the bridge will further collapse, said Raffy Perez, a tricycle driver waiting for passengers at the end of the collapsed bridge.

In Surigao City, the Bureau of Fire Protection  responded to a report of gas leakage along Narcisco corner P. Reyes Streets. Authorities said tanks of acetylene and oxygen fell as a result of the quake.

A primer on the February 10 quake released by Phivolcs on February 11 reminded residents “to be cautious of structures visibly weakened or with signs of damage by the 10 February 2017, as these may be further damaged by aftershocks.”

“In case of houses and other buildings with visible damage, it is best to contact the Municipal/City Engineering Office for advice. Engineers from the local government, other agencies and organizations should inspect buildings and other infrastructures to determine their integrity, and recommend appropriate actions to concerned affected groups or individuals. Slopes should be checked for tension cracks that may have resulted from the strong ground shaking. Tension cracks may make slopes more susceptible to landslides. These areas should be avoided,” the primer said. (Roel N. Catoto  /MindaNews)