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Magnitude-7.6 quake knocks out power, dents bridges in east Visayas, Mindanao

September 1, 2012 1:53pm
Power was knocked out in some areas in Visayas and Mindanao when the magnitude-7.6 quake that hit Eastern Visayas Friday night, authorities said Saturday.

Guiuan, Eastern Samar Mayor Annaliza Kwan said that while the damage to her town was minimal, the quake had knocked out electricity there.

“Ang problema lang we have no electricity. Sabi sa akin ng electric company they will try their best to restore it today [Saturday],” she said in an interview on “Balitanghali.”

On the other hand, she said residents were relatively calm and did not panic when the quake struck.

Friday night’s quake was felt at Intensity VII in Guiuan. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology considers an Intensity VII quake “Destructive.”

At least 153 aftershocks were recorded as of 8 a.m. Saturday, some 12 hours after the quake.

In an Intensity VII quake, Phivolcs said most people are likely to be frightened and run outdoors, and may find it difficult to stand in upper floors.
 
“Heavy objects and furniture overturn or topple. Big church bells may ring. Old or poorly-built structures suffer considerably damage. Some well-built structures are slightly damaged. Some cracks may appear on dikes, fish ponds, road surface, or concrete hollow block walls. Limited liquefaction, lateral spreading and landslides are observed. Trees are shaken strongly,” it said.
 
Kwan said that as of Saturday noon, the town has not observed any aftershock so far, adding the officials at the local level had acted promptly.
 
“Without me telling them right away, ang barangay captain nag-order ng evacuation. May designated evacuation center kami sa high ground," she said.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said power was also knocked out in Siargao Islands, Surigao del Norte and Eastern Samar.

The NDRRMC has gone on red alert since the quake struck Friday night.

Unsafe structure

In San Isidro in Surigao del Norte, six columns of the public market were damaged. The market was declared unsafe for regular operations.

The NDRRMC estimated the damage at P400,000.

The NDRRMC said some bridges and roads, including the Layog Bridge from Borongan to Taft in San Julian, Eastern Samar, were not passable to all vehicles.

It also said the San Pedro Bridge in Quinapundan, Eastern Samar was slightly tilted but still passable to all types of vehicles.

On the other hand, the Buyayawon Bridge in Mercedes, Eastern Samar, had only one lane passable.

Also, road cracks were reported in St. Bernard, Southern Leyte, but roads and bridges there are passable.

Cracks were also seen at the municipal and multipurpose buildings of Taganaan, Surigao del Norte.

In Alegria, Surigao del Norte, the boat landing in Alipao village was damaged and its riprap collapsed.

Cracks also developed at the sea wall in Placer, Surigao del Norte.

Houses

Meanwhile, the NDRRMC said the quake caused nearly P1.5 million in damage to houses in Eastern Visayas and Caraga regions.

The damaged houses include:

- three tension rods at the ceiling of the provincial gym in Surigao City, but no structural damage
- two houses partially damaged in Socorro, Surigao del Norte
- 3 houses collapsed Taganaan, Surigao del Norte
- 1 house was burned due to gas lamp fall during earthquake in Bunawan, Agusan del Sur

Meanwhile, US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas Jr. said he was thankful that the quake had minimal damage.
 
“(I am) thankful that reports (that the) earthquake (caused) minimal damage. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected,” he said on his Twitter account.  — LBG, GMA News
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