KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 31 Oct) – One of the city’s tallest hotels here had nearly collapsed, its façade destroyed, during the magnitude 6.5 earthquake Thursday morning, forcing city’s building officials to declare it not fit for occupancy.
At least seven people who were holding office at Eva’s Hotel were rescued and were brought to the command post the city government has temporarily set up located just outside the city hall.
Reports said that since the magnitude 6.6 earthquake that occurred only two days ago, almost half of the structures erected in the city’s commercial district incurred cracks. Yellow lines were placed in each building as proof the structure has yet to undergo thorough inspection by the Office of the Building Engineer and the City Engineering Office.
These included shopping malls, grocery centers, restaurants, pharmacy stores, hotels and inns, appliance centers, banks, and hospitals. They were ordered closed for business, according to the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.
Meanwhile, a barangay captain in the municipality of Makilala, also in North Cotabato, died in this morning’s quake when the beam of the barangay hall where he was holding office collapsed and fell on his back.
Authorities identified the victim as Cesar Bangot, chairman of Barangay Batasan.
Reports said Bangot was inside his office while waiting for the relief items, intended for victims of the earthquake two days ago, from the Makilala municipal government to arrive when the strong tremor happened.
The quake last October 29 displaced hundreds of families from Purok-5 in Barangay Batasan. They were temporarily housed at the barangay’s covered court but had to leave the area again when the structure collapsed during this morning’s quake.
None among the evacuees was injured, according to Sonny Fontanilla, of the Makilala Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO).
The evacuees decided to transfer at the back portion of the covered court, which they believe was a safe place.
Meantime, the bridge in Barangay Bulakanon, which connects Makilala town to Bansalan in Davao del Sur incurred damages.
Traffic enforcers ordered the vehicles to use only one lane while workers of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) have yet to rehabilitate the damaged structure.
Kidapawan Mayor Joseph Evangelista has yet to determine the quake’s impact to the city’s economy or how much income was lost because of the tremors.
The Oct. 29 quake led to the deaths of seven people in North Cotabato and one in Davao del Sur, reports from the Cotabato Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said. Two deaths were recorded in Barangay Lanao Kuran, Arakan; two in Makilala; and one each in Tulunan, M’lang, and Carmen, reports added.
In Magsaysay, Davao del Sur, a 16-year-old Grade 10 student died when he was hit by fallen debris last Oct. 29. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)