Classes in all schools and all levels in Davao City suspended as post-quake precaution

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 16 Oct) – Mayor Sara Duterte has ordered the suspension of classes in all public and private schools in all levels Thursday to allow for a safety inspection of school buildings.

Part of downtown Davao City. MindaNews file photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

All classes in public and private schools in Davao City, from kindergarten to post-graduate studies, are suspended, she said, because the magnitude 6.3 earthquake Wednesday night “may have caused structural and electrical damage to buildings and houses.”

The earthquake, which had an epicenter somewhere in Tulunan in North Cotabato, was felt at Intensity V in Davao City.

“All school owners, teachers, and other school personnel are hereby instructed to subject school structures to a safety inspection with a qualified engineer tomorrow,” Duterte said, adding that if the engineers “find building defects that are dangerous and need repair, they should immediately condemn the area and not allow students to use the same.”

Bong Eliab, Executive Vice President of the Ateneo de Davao University, shared on Facebook the announcement of the mayor with a note that as part of the university’s protocol, structural engineers made a rapid assessment of the buildings of the University in three campuses minutes after the quake and engineers from the elevator companies also checked their elevators.

“Minor damage was observed on seismic gaps and wall plasters. A thorough evaluation using other methods and equipment will be done tomorrow to determine the structural integrity of our buildings,” he wrote.

The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) also posted a guide, in Cebuano, on what to do after an earthquake.

Immediately after the quake, residents along the shoreline in Toril, Sirawan, Daliao and neighboring subdivisions, including a subdivision in the downtown area, fled their homes following reports of a possible tsunami, prompting the Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) to issue an advisory: “Dabawenyos! Don’t Panic! There is no Tsunami. Rest assured, should it arrive, the citywide siren will alarm.” (MindaNews)