World Bulletin/News Desk
A series of earthquakes have injured three people and damaged more than 100 houses and a church in six villages in Mindanao - the country’s second largest and southernmost major island.
Alexander Pama, head of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), said Sunday, "Three people were treated for bruises after they were hit by concrete fragment from collapsed walls" following tremors that rocked North Cotabato province Saturday.
Renato Solidum, chief of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), said the first earthquake was recorded at 5:59 a.m. Saturday with a magnitude of 4.4.
"Intensity 3 was felt in the town of Makilala, while intensity 2 was felt in the towns of Mlang, Matalam and Kidapawan City," he said, adding that the epicenter was located nearly four miles (six kilometers) south of Makilala.
A second 4.7-magnitude earthquake struck at 7:09 a.m., resulting in intensity 4 in Makilala and Kidapawan City.
The third and strongest one had a magnitude of 5.0 and occurred around noon, with Intensity 7 being felt in Makilala.
The NDRRMC’s Pama said the mountainous village of Luayon in Makilala was the worst hit, with 82 houses damaged by the tremor - 15 of them destroyed. A church was also reportedly damaged.
Makilala Mayor Rudy Caoagdan said a state of calamity has been declared, adding, “We issued a directive that all houses that were damaged by the earthquake will be temporarily vacated by the residents and will be checked by the Municipal Engineering Office if they are still safe to use."
Meanwhile, Philvocs’ Solidum said more than 16 aftershocks were recorded in North Cotabato throughout Saturday afternoon, but only a few had recorded intensities felt by residents.
He explained that a similar series of shallow tremors - known as a "swarm" and caused by fault line movements - had hit the region several years ago.
He added, however, that in some cases a "swarm" precedes a major earthquake.
The Philippine archipelago lies in the Pacific "Ring of Fire," where earthquakes and volcanic activities are common.
This weekend’s earthquakes were tectonic in nature, resulting from fault line movement rather than from volcanic activity.
Last year, a magnitude-7.2 earthquake devastated the central Philippine island province of Bohol, killing some 200 people and injuring hundreds of others.
Last Mod: 21 Eylül 2014, 12:54