6.6 earthquake hits central PH

Damages brought by the magnitude 6.5 earthquake that struck Cataingan, Masbate at 8:03 a.m. on August 18. | Photo courtesy of Philippine Red Cross Masbate – RCY of Cataingan NHS

A MAGNITUDE 6.6 earthquake rocked the Masbate province on Tuesday, August 18, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported.

Phivolcs initially reported a magnitude 6.5 earthquake but later upgraded it to magnitude 6.6.

The tectonic quake was located five kilometers south, 17 degrees west of Cataingan town at 8:03 a.m.

Intensity VII (Destructive) was felt in Cataingan.

Intensity V (strong) was felt in the city of Masbate, and the towns of Almagro and Tagapul-an, Samar, while Intensity IV (moderately strong) was felt in Palanas, and San Jacinto, Masbate; City of Sorsogon, Sorsogon; City of Legazpi, Albay; San Andres, Quezon; Mapanas, and Palapag, Northern Samar; Barugo, Dagami, Dulag, Julita, La Paz, Palo, and Tanauan, Leyte; City of Sagay, Negros Occidental.

Intensity III (weak) was felt in Baybay city and the towns of Isabel, Javier, and Kananga, Leyte; Ormoc City; Mulanay, Quezon; and Iloilo City.

Intensity II (slightly felt) was reported Guinayangan and Lopez, Quezon; President Roxas, Capiz; Patnongon, Patnongon, San Jose de Buenavista, and Tibiao, Antique, while Intensity I (scarcely perceptible) was recorded in Lezo, Aklan; and Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.

The following instrumental intensities were also recorded:

Intensity V – Masbate City, Masbate
Intensity IV – Palo, Leyte; Iloilo City; Roxas City, Capiz; Naval, Biliran;
Intensity III – Bago City, Negros Occidental; Malinao, Aklan; Pandan, Antique; Jamindan, Capiz; Ormoc City
Intensity II – Gumaca, Quezon; San Jose de Buenavista, Antique; City of Sipalay, Negros Occidental; Valderrama, Antique; Sipocot, Camarines Sur; Talibon, Bohol; San Francisco, Cebu
Intensity I – Malay, Aklan; and Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental


One fatality

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) reported that one died and 36 were injured due to the quake that struck Masbate.

Citing initial reports from the PRC, PRC-Masbate chapter Administrator Marie Jane Oxemer told Inquirer.net that a resident of Brgy. Alimango in Cataingan, Masbate died from the tremor.

The fatality was later confirmed as retired Police Senior Superintendent Gilbert Sauro by Cataingan disaster officer Venus Rojo.

According to Rojo, Sauro died after he was pinned down under his collapsed house.

Duterte wants to visit quake victims
Malacañang, for its part, said President Rodrigo Duterte wants to visit the earthquake victims, though it is still unclear whether his close-in security would allow him.

“Siguradong-sigurado po ako na gusto ni Presidente pumunta at siguro po makikipag-away pa’yan sa (Presidential Security Group) kung talagang siya”y pipigilan (I am very sure that the president wants to go and maybe, he would even argue with PSG if they would prohibit him),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

“Instinctively, ang Presidente gusto na lumipad papuntang Masbate pero (the president wants to fly to Masbate but) whether or not he will be allowed, titignan po natin (we’ll see),” he added.

Roque also gave assurance the national government will provide aid for the quake victims.

“Ang mga Pilipino, dahil nga sa dami ng bagyo at lindol at pagputok ng bulkan na nangyayari sa’tin, laging handa na tayo. At dahil laging handa tayo, tingin ko naman napa-preposition na nga gaya ng sinabi ko yung mga humanitarian assistance (Because of experiencing so many typhoons, earthquakes, explosions, we have always been prepared. And because we have always been prepared, I think humanitarian assistance has already been prepositioned),” he said.

“Huwag po kayo mag-alala. Yung mga pagkain, mga blankets, mga resettlement areas, lahat po ‘yan ay naka-preposition na po ‘yan at sanay na sanay na po tayo magbigay ng ganiyang tulong sa ating mga kababayan (Don’t worry. Food, blankets, resettlements areas, all of those areas have already been prepositioned. We are used to giving help to our citizens),” the spokesperson added.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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