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Towns surrounding quake epicenter report damage

Sunday’s magnitude 6.9 quake with the epicenter in Padada, Davao del Sur, caused significant damage to surrounding towns, as well.

Roads and bridges in Poblacion Magsaysay, Davao del Sur sustiained cracks and other noticeable separations. Some of the residential and commercial buildings could no longer be occupied.

Rovel Laso, the barangay kagawad of Barangay Tacul, Magsaysay, said security personnel in the place to roam around the village to audit the damage and injuries.

“Fortunately, there were no reported casualties or injuries except for a kid and a lola (grandmother) who fell down the gym grounds due to the strong quake,” he said.

He also said that he is thankful that the gym, where a relief operation was conducted on Sunday, did not collapse as many people were inside participating in the said operation.

“It was a very strong quake. We never thought some earthquakes like this would still occur. I am thankful that there were no collapsed buildings,” he said.

Already damaged houses collapsed during the recent quake.

Carolina Doronio, a resident in Magsaysay, said their house has been standing for 10 years until the series of earthquakes.

“Our house has been severely damaged. Our stuff inside the house, things, appliances, and all utilities have been damaged also. We were planning to spend Christmas here, but how can we, if the damage that the house acquired is devastating?” she said.

Meanwhile, the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) has also recorded the number of casualties, affected families, and damaged establishments.

Of the 33 barangays in Matanao, Davao del Sur, only 20 barangays have submitted their reports. The MSWDO of Matanao already documented two deceased persons and 61 wounded. As of Dec. 16 in the afternoon, 8,424 families were affected by the strong quake.

Partially damaged houses have reached a total of 3,097, while the totally damaged ones reached 1,104.
Matanao Mayor Vincent Fernandez disclosed that the local government unit’s office buildings such as the municipal hall, ABC hall, senior citizens’ building, and the Land Bank satellite building acquired major damage.

They also received reports of landslides in the hinterland barangays.

Damaged water systems caused the discoloration of potable water and some reported water sources dried up.

In Padada, Davao del Sur, the retrieval operation is still ongoing as bodies are still reported trapped inside the Southern Trade grocery store, which collapsed during the strong earthquake, trapping some customers and salespeople.

As of Monday 10 p.m., the body of a saleslady was retrieved (related story on page 1).

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has recorded some 140 earthquakes and aftershocks within 24 of the strong quake. All the provinces of Davao del Sur were affected.

The magnitude 6.9 tectonic earthquake, which is about nine kilometers north of Matanao town of the province at a depth of three kilometers, caused moderate to severe damage in Davao del Sur. All were mandated to be vigilant especially that some unexpected calamities may occur.

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