Philippines: Tulunan, North Cotabato 6.6M Earthquake, Flash Update No. 1 (As of 30 October 2019, 5 p.m. local time)
On 29 October, at 9:04 a.m. Philippine time, a 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck in Tulunan, Cotabato in Mindanao, just two weeks after a 6.3-magnitude earthquake occurred in the same area, causing seven deaths and 215 injured.
According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), the 6.6 magnitude earthquake was tectonic in origin with a depth of 7 km and was felt in Cotabato and neighboring municipalities and provinces of five regions of Mindanao, including the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). Small to strong magnitude earthquakes followed, and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reports of 270 aftershocks.
Initial assessments by NDRRMC report Kidapawan, M’lang and Tulunan in North Cotabato, and Digos and Magsaysay in Davao del Sur in the Mindanao are among the hardest hit areas.
The earthquake affected over 16,400 people. Some 4,400 people are staying in evacuation centres in Kidapawan, North Cotabato and Digos, Davao del Sur, while nearly 4,900 people are with host families in M’lang, Tulunan. NDRRMC, is reporting five deaths and nearly 400 injured.
Damage to infrastructure
As of 30 October, over 1,100 homes are damaged, over 340 of which are totally destroyed. Around 133 public infrastructure is reported damaged, of which 94 are schools often used as evacuation centres. On 29 October, power interruption occurred in 23 cities/municipalities but was restored on the same day. About 80 cities and municipalities declared suspension of classes and about half of them continued suspension of classes also today.
Landslide incidents were reported in Sitio Saulbulawan, Barangay Bituan which blocked the road going to Barangay Bacong, Tulunan, Cotabato, and in Barangay Upper Bala, Magsaysay, Davao del Sur. In Maguindanao, the dike near Buluan-Paglat river was damaged, resulting in continuous flow of water towards Barangays Bual, Damakling and Poblacion causing flood in the areas. Major roads and highways remain accessible.
The national government is leading the response efforts in providing assistance and has deployed medical and search and rescue teams to affected municipalities. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is providing food and relief items to affected families and the Department of Health (DOH) provided water containers and hygiene kits to affected regions.
Support of humanitarian partners
A number of humanitarian partners, including ACTED, CARITAS, Catholic Relief Services, Citizen’s Disaster Response Center, Philippine Red Cross, Plan International, Save the Children and Shelter Box, are supporting response activities and conducting damage assessments in affected North Cotabato and Davao areas. While assessments are ongoing, bilateral requests are being initiated at the regional level with WASH cluster partners for water and hygiene kits.
OCHA is liaising with the Office of Civil Defense and requested members of the Mindanao Humanitarian Team (MHT) to share assessment reports to support coordinated response. Initial assessments indicate that due to a large number of damaged houses and schools that are frequently used as evacuation centres, affected people are camping out near their damaged homes. Emergency shelter, food, WASH, and health support was identified as initial priority need.
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