Description of the disaster
On 29 October 2019, two strong earthquakes struck the province of North Cotabato, Mindanao, the first one of magnitude 6.6 in Tuluna at 09:04; the second of magnitude 6.1 and 9km deep at 10:42 with almost the same epicenter. Just two days after, on 31 October 2019 at 09:15, another tectonic 1 magnitude 6.5 earthquake shook central and eastern Mindanao at a shallow depth of two kilometres. Once again, the epicentre was identified in Tulunan, North Cotabato.2 A state of calamity3 was declared for Davao del Sur on 30 October and Cotabato on 5 November, the two hardest hit provinces. These earthquakes, as well as the magnitude 6.3 earthquake recorded on 16 October 2019, with the same epicenter location, are considered part of a sequence of events resulting from interdependent faults in the region. No tsunami warnings were issued but many aftershocks, ranging from magnitude 1.5 to 5.5 were recorded. The NDRRMC most recent update on 22 January 2020, indicates the main impacts of the earthquakes as follows:
While the government authorities and humanitarian partners were providing humanitarian assistance to people in need, on 15 December, another 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck at 9km northwest of Matanao municipality in the province of Davao del Sur, Mindanao. This was the fourth quake above magnitude 6 in the last two months to hit this part of Mindanao, all within a radius of 12km. According to PHILVOCS, although felt in the same areas, this latest earthquake did not emanate from the same fault as the October’s series of temblors in Mindanao.
However, the December earthquake compounded previous displacement as well as damage to homes, schools and infrastructure from the October earthquakes, as reported in the DSWD DROMIC report. A cumulative of 13 confirmed deaths, 210 injured and 1 missing was reported.
The plan of action for this emergency appeal was revised in December 2019 to provide a comprehensive response taking into account all geographical areas affected and escalating needs generated.