Philippines: Cotabato Earthquakes - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF Operation n° MDRPH036

A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

On Tuesday 29 October 2019, a series of strong earthquakes struck Tulunan, North Cotabato, Mindanao. The first earthquake was recorded at 9:04am (local time) at magnitude 6.6 and 7km deep. The second significant earthquake was recorded at 10:42am, 6.1 magnitude and 9km deep. As of 7:20pm on 29 October 2019, there had been 129 earthquakes recorded by [PHILVOCS. PHILVOCS reports that the strongest intensity was intensity VII (destructive), and damage and aftershocks were expected. Summaries of the intensity recorded are as follows:

Reported intensities are:

• Intensity VII - Tulunan & Makilala, Cotabato; Kidapawan City; Malungon, Sarangani

• Intensity VI - Davao City; Koronadal City; Cagayan de Oro City

• Intensity V -Tampakan,Surallah and Tupi, South Cotabato; Alabel, Sarangani

• Intensity IV - General Santos City; Kalilangan, Bukidnon

• Intensity III - Sergio Osmeña Sr., Zamboanga del Norte; Zamboanga City; Dipolog City; Molave, Zamboanga del Norte; Talakag, Bukidnon

• Intensity I- Camiguin, Mambajao

This is the same area where on the 16 October 2019, an earthquake struck 6.3 magnitude and 15km deep, approximately 22km southeast of Tulunan town.
This earthquake killed seven people and injured 215 people in Regions XI, XII and BARMM. The earthquake affected 7,303 families (35,481 people), As of 27 October 2019, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that 936 families (4,604 people) were still being served in three evacuation centres while 407 families (2,035 people) are served outside the evacuation centres.

This second earthquake on the 29 October 2019 in the same area has added more trauma and fatigue to many people who were affected by the first earthquake of 16 October 2019. There are unconfirmed media reports of up to six casualties, injuries due to falling masonry, as well as residents with damaged houses that are now fearful to return indoors. Rains in some of the areas have made their situation worse making it more difficult for people who are staying outside their houses.

According to the latest situation report issued by the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre), five people have been killed, 394 injured and two people remain missing. More than 8,000 people (8,405) have been displaced, of which 4,900 living in outside areas, and 3,505 residing in evacuation centres.

There has been damage to infrastructure in various areas in Mindanao – with at least 133 buildings damaged (Source: AHA Centre) however the full scale yet to determined; as there has been disruptions to power and communications networks following the earthquake which is hindering reporting of impact. In Davao City, all classes in public and private schools; from kindergarten to post-graduate studies have been suspended.

Some of the provinces, such as, Davao Del Sur are already under a state of calamity from the previous earthquake of the 16 October 2019. NDRRMC have issued a combined report for 16 October and 29 October 2019 earthquakes. The summary of the report is as follows:

• Seven dead and 215 injured

• 7,303 families (35,481 individuals) affected in 127 barangays

• Three evacuation centers – 936 families (4,604 individuals) are taking emergency shelter

• 407 families (2,035 individuals) are in open area

• Damaged: 7,089 houses are damaged (1,312 houses fully and 5,777 partially)

• Total: 538 schools affected (10 fully and 528 partially)

• Health: 45 affected (two fully and 43 partially)

• Other public infrastructures are also damaged such as roads, bridges and shopping mahal Assessments continue, including in the hard to reach areas, and will reveal more information on the impact earthquake across the provinces. The figures on damages and casualties are expected to Increase.