1 dead, four missing in magnitude 6.4 quake in Davao del Sur

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By Carina Cayon

DAVAO CITY, Oct. 29 (PIA) – Barely two weeks after the magnitude 6.3 earthquake wreaked havoc on October 16 in parts of Davao del Sur, another stronger tremor at magnitude 6.4 hit the province at 9:04 a.m. today (Oct. 29), leaving one dead, four missing and several damages to infrastructures.

Magsaysay municipal information officer Anthony Allada confirmed the death of 15-year old Jessie Riel Parba, Grade 9 student of Kasuga National High School, who was hit by debris and collapsed cement in said school when the quake occurred.

Allada also revealed that there are four missing residents from Barangay Tagaytay (1) and Barangay Upper Bala (3) due to landslides.

Shortly after the tremor, several local government units in the province such as Digos City, Bansalan, Malalag, Magsaysay and Sta. Cruz, immediately suspended all classes in all levels and work in public and private sectors.

In a press conference in the afternoon today, Digos City Mayor Josef Cagas reported 66 injured individuals who were immediately treated in various hospitals in the city.

Cagas mentioned one unnamed casualty due to cardiac arrest, but it was not yet determined if the cause of death was due to the quake.

He said that based on the initial inspection and assessment of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), the damages inflicted to several buildings and other infrastructures by the October 16 earthquake were aggravated by the recent catastrophe.

The mayor has called on his constituents to stay calm, be safe and be prepared always in times of calamity.

“This is another trial. We just have to keep calm. We should always be prepared especially that we will never know when it (disaster) will happen, especially during night time,” Cagas stated in a vernacular, as he urged the public to prepare emergency kit to include flashlights and water.

He said he has instructed the barangay captains to help the residents locate to an open space or somewhere safe in times of emergencies.

Cagas has also earlier advised the public to avoid entering buildings with unstable structures to ensure the residents safety.

In Bansalan town, MDRRMO designate Jesil Jaum bared that about 18 residents were injured during the catastrophe, and that 126 patients from three hospitals in the municipality were evacuated to safer place.

Jaum said that initial damages to buildings of a hotel, bank and private establishment, public market, and several houses brought about by the first quake, were worsen by the recent tremor.

Davao del Sur Governor Douglas Cagas also issued a message to his constituents, saying "Ayaw mo pagpanic, adunay Diyos! Ampo lang kanunay (Don’t panic. There is God. We should always pray)."

According to Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), the epicenter of the earthquake was registered at Tulunan Town in Cotabato Province with a depth of 7 kilometers. (PIA-XI/Carina L. Cayon)