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Classes suspended after quake jolts Surigao anew

BUTUAN City — Surigao del Norte Governor Sol Forcadilla Matugas declared suspension of classes in all levels in Surigao City and five other towns in Surigao del Norte after a 5.9 magnitude earthquake rocked province on Sunday morning.

Only four of the 37 injured remain confined in the hospital while the rest returned home after treatment.

Residents here have been experiencing a series of aftershocks since the magnitude 6.7 quake struck the city late evening of Feb. 10. Nine persons were killed while at least 200 others were injured. Several structures were damaged.

The governor suspended classes in Surigao City and the towns of San Francisco, Sison, Tagana-an, Malimono and Mainit to allow school administrators to assess the condition of their buildings.

Socorro Celis, 65, suffered a cardiac arrest when the quake, recorded at Intensity 6 here, struck, her granddaughter Nona said.

Renato Solidum, director of Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said a 5.9 magnitude stuck in Surigao City. Intensity 6 was felt in Surigao City.

Liny Diaz, Cipriana Iligan Llamera, Marites Gumacod, Lolita Sayac told Gold Star Daily in separate phone interviews that their houses already damaged in the Feb. 10 quake are now totally damaged after they failed to repair it because they had no money.

“There are new damages due to the earthquake this morning (Sunday). My house is now totally damaged,” said Diaz of Purok 3, Barangay San Juan, Surigao City.

At the Caraga Regional Hospital, injured residents rushed to the emergency section while patients confined in the hospital rushed outside. It was the same situation at the Surigao Medical Center.

Carlita Awatin, 62, of Purok 6, San Juan in Barangay Washington was preparing breakfast and was about to pour boiled water on a cup when the quake struck. She suffered burns on her head, arms and body. Her nine year old grandson, Bryllzeus Paredes who was beside her was not spared. Both sought treatment at the Caraga Hospital.

Norbina Ramirez, 76, of Ferdinand Street in Barangay Washington was pinned down by a concrete wall of her house that crashed. Her daughter Dahlia Padal with her husband came to rescue her underneath the rubble and rushed her to the hospital.

In San Franscico, Surigao del Norte, houses that suffered damages during the Feb. 10 quake have become more precarious.

Some residents who were crossing the bridge that collapsed on February 10, jumped off the bridge when the quake struck.

Isig pangambak kay basin malumpag ang tulay,”said Raffy Perez, a tricycle driver waiting for passengers at the end of the collapsed bridge.

In Surigao City, the Bureau of Fire Protection  responded to a report of gas leakage along Narcisco corner P. Reyes Streets. Authorities said tanks of acetylene and oxygen fell as a result of the quake.

A primer on the Feb. 10 quake released by Phivolcs on Feb. 11 reminded residents “to be cautious of structures visibly weakened or with signs of damage by the 10 February 2017, as these may be further damaged by aftershocks.”

“In case of houses and other buildings with visible damage, it is best to contact the Municipal/City Engineering Office for advice. Engineers from the local government, other agencies and organizations should inspect buildings and other infrastructures to determine their integrity, and recommend appropriate actions to concerned affected groups or individuals. Slopes should be checked for tension cracks that may have resulted from the strong ground shaking. Tension cracks may make slopes more susceptible to landslides. These areas should be avoided,” the primer said. (with reports from mindanews)


About Ben Serrano

Ben Serrano covers Caraga for The Gold Star Daily, and is based in Butuan City.

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