Quake destroys houses in Sarangani

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 16 December) — At least 16 houses and several other public structures in two municipalities in Sarangani province were damaged as a result of the Magnitude 6.9 earthquake that jolted parts of Mindanao on Sunday afternoon, a disaster official said Monday.

Jerome Barranco, assistant director of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD)-Region 12 (Soccsksargen), said that 13 houses sustained partial damages while an old multipurpose building collapsed in Malungon town.

Malungon is the closest town in Sarangani to Matanao, Davao Del Sur, the epicenter of the strong quake that struck at 2:11 p.m., which was felt at Intensity 6 in the area.

Barranco said 11 of the damaged houses were in Barangay Lutay and two in Upper Biangan. The collapsed structure was located in Barangay Malandag.

“The affected residents in Lutay are currently staying with their relatives while those in Upper Biangan were evacuated to the barangay hall,” he said in a radio interview.

Barranco said some landslides were also reported in several barangays in Malungon but none of the surrounding communities were directly affected.

A report from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) said one of the landslides occurred in the main road leading to the Kalonbarak Skyline Ridge, a mountain tourist destination in Sitio Kalonbarak, Barangay Poblacion.

A number of tourists were reportedly isolated at the site as a result of the landslide, which was later cleared by responding local government personnel.

The PDRRMO said a number of school buildings in Malungon reportedly sustained various damages based on ongoing assessment.

In Glan town, it said a still unidentified fisherman went missing after reportedly jumping in panic into the sea during the quake.

The provincial government has already coordinated with the Philippine Coast Guard for the search operations.

In Alabel town, the barangay council of Ladol reported that three houses and the main reservoir of the village’s water system were partially damaged as a result of the quake.

Around 3,000 residents were reportedly affected by the damaged water system.

The quake also toppled a water reservoir in Padada, Davao del Sur in the Davao region, a photo of which was used in this story.

As of Monday morning, Barranco said they monitored at least 14 incidents in Soccsksargen related to the quake, the strongest that hit parts of Mindanao since October 16.

“The assessment is still ongoing in coordination with the local DRRM offices and councils,” he added. (MindaNews)