8 localities in South Cotabato, GenSan suspend classes in quake aftermath

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 17 Oct) – Eight localities in South Cotabato province suspended classes in public and private schools Thursday to check the integrity of campus facilities following the magnitude 6.3 earthquake that jolted a large part of Mindanao Wednesday night, an official said.

Rolly Doanne Aquino, operations and warning head of the South Cotabato Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, said the class suspensions seek to ensure the safety of students, as the tremor could have damaged school buildings.

As of Thursday morning, the local government units (LGUs) that suspended classes were the capital Koronadal City and the towns of Tupi, Tampakan, Tantangan, T’boli, Norala, Lake Sebu and Banga, Aquino said.

South Cotabato straddles 11 localities.

“We don’t want to compromise the safety of our students. The class suspensions by the LGUs were declared for the assessment of school facilities to make sure they are sound following the strong tremor,” he said in an interview.

“Our team would also inspect places of public convergences like malls to ensure these building are safe,” Aquino added.

At least six individuals were brought to the hospital for minor injuries after the quake struck Wednesday evening, he said.

A few others were rushed to the provincial hospital for anxiety attacks but were discharged hours later, Aquino added. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)