A 7.2 magnitude earthquake stunned Central Visayas at around 8:12 am last October 15. The epicenter of the tectonic and inland quake was in Carmen, Bohol but its vibration that was felt in Cebu is equally as damaging.
In a special by the provincial board presided by Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, the Province of Cebu has been declared under a state of calamity.
The Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) reported that at least five people were reported dead and 84 suffered injuries as of 12:18 in the afternoon.
Governor Hilario P. Davide III issued an executive order suspending classes in all levels in the province tomorrow.
He asked the provincial offices of the Department of Education and the Department of Public Works and Highways to inspect and certify if these infrastructures, including school buildings, are still safe.
“Walang una’y klase ugma until further notice,” he said.
In Pinamungajan, the quake triggered a stampede that killed one (as of Tuesday) and hurt 24 persons while local government officials were distributing cash assistance under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
The same incident occurred in Toledo City. Fortunately no one was killed but 18 persons were injured.
The Capitol buildings were not spared by the strong quake. The executive building only suffered minor cracks but the office of the vice governor in the legislative building endured major cracks.
The wall of the third floor of the Baex building and the ceiling of the plenary hall of the Cebu International Convention Center collapsed. The Cebu South Bus Terminal also incurred structural damage.
In a special session presided by Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, the provincial board (PB) also approved the motion of PB Member Jose Ribomapil Holganza Jr. urging the presence of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) during the next regular session.
PB Member Thadeo Ouano further required Phivolcs to present the quake fault line map in Cebu.
According to PDDRMO Chief Neil Sanchez, he already heard of the fault line that traverses Central Cebu when he was still working as chief of operations of the Office of Civil Defense.
However, this was just recently confirmed by Phivolcs especially with the latest quake incidents, said Sanchez. This is the second high magnitude earthquake that hit Cebu in two years. It also felt the 6.9 magnitude earthquake last year although the epicenter was located in Negros Oriental.
Davide said the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) would be sending a team of experts to Cebu to help assess the damage in the entire province. The incident also caused structural damage and landslide in the other towns and component cities.
Magpale also said that the DPWH Secretary would inspect the damage in the second Mactan bridge. (Xerxes Alkuino)