Sarangani town being monitored due to ground tension cracks

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 18 Dec) – The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Region 12 is closely monitoring a village in Malungon town, Sarangani province due to the emergence of ground tension cracks following the magnitude 6.9 earthquake on Sunday afternoon.

Municipality of Malungon, Sarangani province. Map courtesy of Google

Minda Morante, OCD-12 director, said the tension cracks were found in a community in Sitio Malawaan, Barangay Lutay, an upland village located around 15 kilometers from the town proper.

“[The] tension cracks [were] visible under 11 houses,” she noted in a situation report released at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

The official said they have recommended the assessment of the tension cracks and their possible impact to the community by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau-12.

The affected families evacuated from the area on Sunday afternoon due to the occurrence of possible landslides.

On Tuesday, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Region 12 delivered at least 25 tents to the local government in anticipation of possible further evacuations.

Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-12 director, said Wednesday the assessment is currently ongoing to determine whether it is still safe for residents to stay in the identified landslide-prone areas.

“The assessment will determine if local officials will impose force evacuation for the safety of the people,” he said in a statement.

Malungon is the closest town in Sarangani to the epicenter of the 2:11 p.m. quake last Sunday in Matanao town, Davao del Sur. The temblor was felt at Intensity 6 in the area.

OCD-12 immediately deployed a team to the area on Monday to assess the impact of the quake in coordination with the Malungon Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) and the Sarangani Provincial DRRMO.

A separate report released by the Malungon Information Office late Tuesday afternoon said a total of 21 houses, two village gymnasiums and two churches sustained damages due to the quake.

Jessie dela Cruz, head Malungon MDRRMO, said they have been closely coordinating with the OCD and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) regarding the series of quakes and aftershocks that affected the area.

He said Phivolcs had identified the municipality as among the areas traversed by major fault lines.

These are the M’lang, Makilala-Malungon, North Columbio, South Columbio, and the Cotabato Sindangan faults, he said. (MindaNews)