President Rodrigo Duterte and his family are “unhurt” after a 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit Davao del Sur on Sunday afternoon, almost two months after a series of quakes shook parts of Mindanao, Malacañang said on Sunday.
“The President was in his house in Davao City with his daughter Kitty when the earthquake struck. The First Lady Honeylet Avanceña was on her way home when the ground rumbled and moved. She said the car she was riding was swaying. They are unhurt,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo urged Davao del Sur residents to remain calm but stay vigilant in anticipation of aftershocks.
He also appealed to the public to refrain from spreading disinformation that may cause undue alarm and panic among affected communities.
Presidential Security Group (PSG) commander Jose Eriel Niembra said Duterte’s house was free from any damages but its structural integrity is currently being assessed.
The President’s house sustained several cracks in the walls and ceilings from one of the three earthquakes several weeks ago.
Meanwhile, he assured that the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the Office of Civil Defense, and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology are closely monitoring the situation in Davao del Sur.
All concerned agencies of the government have been mobilized to respond to the present conditions and provide immediate assistance to those in need, he added.
Phivolcs recorded the earthquake around 2:11 p.m. and traced its epicenter nine kilometers northwest of Matanao, Davao del Sur.
Intensity 7 was felt in Matanao and Magsaysay, Davao del Sur, and Intensity 6 in Kidapawan City, General Santos City; Bansalan, Davao del Sur; Alabel and Malapatan, Sarangani; and, Koronadal City.
It was recorded at Intensity 5 in Tulunan and Matalam, Cotabato; Cotabato City; Davao City; and Glan, Sarangani; Intensity 3 in Kalilangan, Talakag and Dangcagan in Bukidnon; and Intensity 2 in Impasugong, Bukidnon; Cagayan de Oro City; and Dipolog City; and Intensity 1 in Zamboanga del Sur.
It said the quake was tectonic in origin, which means the tremor was caused by the movement of an active fault in the area.
Likewise, the tremor was shallow at a depth of 3 kilometers.
Three powerful earthquakes hit parts of Mindanao last October.
On October 16, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck Tulunan, North Cotabato around 7:37 p.m. at a depth of eight kilometers. It was followed by a magnitude-6.6 earthquake in the southeastern part of Tulunan, North Cotabato on Oct. 29 and a magnitude-6.5 earthquake struck Tulunan again on October 31.
Defense officials recommended the conduct of more safety drills to raise awareness and prepare the public for future disasters.
This was among the recommendations made by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and NDRRMC chairperson Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad during the Nov. 6 Cabinet meeting in Malacañang. (PNA)