5.5 quake in Surigao Sur: 38 structures damaged; 58 persons sustain minor injuries

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 14 July) – Saturday morning’s magnitude 5.5. quake damaged at least 38 buildings in the five Surigao del Sur towns while at least 58 residents sustained minor injuries.

Authorities said 26 persons were “slightly injured” in the municipality of Cantilan; 17 in the neighboring town of Madrid; 14 in the town of Carmen and an eight-year-old boy who was pinned down by a cabinet in the town of Lanuza.

A report by Surigao del Sur police chief, Col. Francisco Dungo, Jr., said 14 structures were damaged in Madrid, 13 in Cantilan, while 17 residents were slightly injured; 13 in Cantilan, four in Carmen, Carrascal, and three in Lanuza. “Slightly injured,” he said, were 17 in Madrid, 26 in Cantilan, 14 in Carmen, and one in Lanuza.

Crack on the road in Sitio Baybay, Barangay Bunga, Lanuza, Surigao del Sur. Photo courtesy of Philippine National Police -Surigao del Sur

“Damage to the highway and houses especially those poorly constructed were substantial,” Police Captain Edgar Fernandez, chief of the Lanuza police station told MindaNews.

Fernandez said the highway in Carmen town sustained some damage and residents placed old tires to warn motorists of the danger.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the 5.8-magnitude struck the eastern seaboard of Mindanao at around 4:42 a.m. Saturday.

It said the quake was tectonic and recorded at a depth of five kilometers.

A portion of the ceiling of the Catholic church in Carmen, Surigao del Sur, was destroyed by Saturday’s 5.5 magnitude quake. Photo courtesy of Philippine National Police – Surigao del Sur

Liza Mazo, chief of the Office of Civil Defense in Caraga said  the tremor led to the collapse of the entire ceiling of the parish church in the town of Carmen.

Besides the church, Mazo said the quake damaged buildings and houses forcing residents to flee to the streets.

Mazo said two fire trucks in Madrid town were damaged when the fire station also collapsed.

“I held on the door because the quake was strong and I could barely stand,” Fernandez narrated.

Fernandez said electricity in the towns near the epicenter went out immediately after the quake struck.

Mazo said many of the patients were rushed to hospitals in Tandag City. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)