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Philippines
Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Sarangani town in state of calamity

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The municipality of Glan in Sarangani was placed under a state of calamity following last week’s magnitude 6.8 earthquake in Mindanao.

Glan accounted for over half of the earthquake’s death toll, with five out of the nine fatalities recorded.

The declaration will allow the release of calamity funds allocated to the local government and control the pricing of basic commodities in the area.

The number of families affected by the earthquake in the country’s southern region has climbed to 3,696, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said on Tuesday.

The NDRRMC said the total is equivalent to 16,293 persons residing in 51 barangays located in the Davao and Soccsksargen regions.

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Three were confirmed injured, all from Davao Region, while the number of injured undergoing validation is at 13.

A total of 1,544 houses in the two regions were reported damaged by the earthquake.

The Department of Agriculture said the earthquake also left P2.08 million worth of damage to fisheries equipment.

“These include 44 damaged boats and fishing gears. Aside from fisheries, there are no reported damage and losses yet in the agriculture commodities and infrastructures that could hinder the food supply system,” the DA said.

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Director Teresito Bacolcol on Tuesday reiterated his call for the public to always be prepared for strong earthquakes, as these “will be experienced from time to time.”

The earthquake has since generated 113 aftershocks with magnitudes ranging from 1.4 to 4.9 as of 1 p.m. Tuesday.

“We are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, and whether we like it or not, we will experience strong earthquakes from time to time, so we really have to prepare,” Bacolcol said.

The movement of the Cotabato Trench caused the earthquake, Bacolcol said, adding that aftershocks could continue for several days or weeks, with magnitudes and frequencies decreasing.

The strongest earthquake along the Cotabato Trench was the magnitude 8.1 tremor that happened on Aug. 17, 1976, which produced a tsunami as high as nine meters, according to the Phivolcs chief.

Bacolcol also pointed out the need to make structures resilient.

“Earthquakes don’t claim lives. It is the collapse of man-made structures that may claim lives,” he said.

“When you build a house, we should follow the minimum engineering standards and if necessary, it should be retrofitted to make it earthquake-resilient,” he added.

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