Philippines: Cotabato, Mindanao Earthquakes - Information bulletin

The situation

On Tuesday, 29 October 2019, a series of strong earthquakes struck Tulunan, Cotabato, Mindanao. The first strong earthquake was recorded at 6.6 magnitude and was felt at 9:04 AM (local time), with 7km depth focus. A second significant earthquake was recorded at 6.1 magnitude and was felt at 10:42 AM with a 9km depth focus. As of 11:00 AM, there had been 23 earthquakes recorded by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOCS). PHILVOCS reports that the strongest intensity was intensity VII (destructive). Damages and aftershocks are expected.

For reference purposes, please refer to the PHIVOLCS Earthquake Intensity Scale through this PEIS link.

In Davao City, all classes in public and private schools from kindergarten to post-graduate studies have been suspended. There are already unconfirmed reported damages to some infrastructures, such as, the Magsaysay municipal hall in Davao del Sur. According to the Municipal Mayor of Magsaysay on a news interview, there are 541 families (approximately 2,700 individuals) sheltering in the evacuation centre. Power interruption is reported in some areas; General Santos City, Carmen in North Cotabato, Sarangani Polomolok in South Cotabato, and in Sultan Kudarat. Based on some news interviews with the local government unit and press briefing of NDRRMC, 43 people are reported injured (30 injured in Kidapawan City while 13 injured in Mlang Cotabato).

Previously on 16 October 2019, an earthquake of 6.3 magnitude struck the same area at 7:37 PM (local time) with a depth of 15km, approximately 22km southeast of Tulunan town, which killed seven people and injured 215 people in Regions XI, XII and BARMM. The earthquake has affected 7,303 families (35,481 people). As of 27 October 2019, NDRRMC reported that 936 families (4,604 people) continue seeking shelter in three evacuation centres while 407 families (2,035 people) are still displaced outside the evacuation centres.

This most recent earthquakes are causing increased trauma and fatigue among the people who have been previously affected by the 6.3 magnitude earthquake on 16 October 2019.

PHIVOLCS continues to monitor seismic events and issues earthquake information and real-time updates. The NDRRMC is coordinating with the city, provincial, municipal, and barangay disaster risk reduction and management councils and has issued situation reports. The NDRRMC has started issuing advisory to the local authorities through the local disaster risk reduction and management councils (LDRRMCs) to undertake precautionary measures within their area of responsibilities.