No major damage reported due to magnitude 7.1 quake

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 12 Aug) – The Province of Davao Oriental said no major damages were reported from the magnitude 7.1 earthquake that struck off the coast of Governor Generoso municipality at 1:46 a.m. on Thursday.

Epicenter of the magnitude 7.1 quake on 12 August 2021 off the coast of Davao Oriental, based on coordinates provided by PHIVOLCS. Map courtesy of Google

The provincial government said in a statement that teams from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) – Operation Center were deployed to conduct an assessment in tsunami-prone areas and critical facilities, including the Davao Oriental Provincial Medical Center (DOPMC).

In an advisory released by the City Information Office of Mati, the Office of the Building Official said no major damages were observed on the government structures, except for the minor cracks found on the buildings within the City Hall compound.

The agency said these minor cracks do not affect the structural integrity of the buildings.

“The team is now undergoing inspection on other offices and buildings in the city, including schools. We will post update once the official report is submitted,” it added.

The quake’s epicenter, according to the Philippine Volcanology and Seismology’s (PHIVOLCS) Earthquake Information No. 3, was 79 km southeast of Governor Generoso in Davao Oriental (06.36°N, 126.74°E) with a depth of 55 kilometers.

It was felt at Intensity 5 in Governor Generoso, Mati City, and Lupon in Davao Oriental; cities of Tagum and Panabo and Carmen municipality in Davao del Norte; Nabunturan, Davao de Oro; Alabel ang Malungon, Sarangani; Sarangani, Davao Occidental; and General Santos City.

PHIVOLCS originally said the quake was Magnitude 7.3 in its first dispatch, but later downgraded it to Magnitude 7.1 in its subsequent Earthquake information No. 1 and No. 2.

No tsunami threat was issued.

PHIVOLCS has already recorded almost 70 aftershocks as of 4:40 p.m., the strongest of which was a Magnitude 4.9 at 10:25 a.m. at 208 km southeast of Tarragona town in Davao Oriental.

The provincial government called on the public to stay calm and alert from various hazards, emphasizing the importance of “preparedness and prompt information to ensure safety and prevent the loss of lives.”

Dean Ortiz, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Davao Public Affairs and Information Officer, told MindaNews that no damages were incurred on national roads and bridges in the region after the magnitude 7.1 earthquake jolted parts of Mindanao.

He assured the public that these government infrastructures are passable to vehicles.

Residents of Davao City, who felt the quake at Intensity 4, were awakened by the strong and long quake.

Alfredo Baloran, chief of the Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), said no major damages were reported on government structures, including coronavirus disease (COVID-19) isolation sites.

In an interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5), Baloran said that existing structures that suffered from previous earthquakes incurred no additional cracks, except for minor and hairline cracks in three COVID-19 Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities (TTMFs) – University of the Philippines Mintal Isolation Facility, Doña Carmen Elementary School, and A.L. Navarro Elementary and High School.

He assured that these facilities remain safe and patients need not be evacuated.

Structural engineers have yet to conduct further assessment to check the stability of the buildings, he added. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)