On November 17th, 2023, at 4:14 PM local time, a powerful earthquake struck the municipality of Sarangani in Davao Occidental, Mindanao, with a magnitude of 6.8 on the Richter scale.
The epicenter was located 28 kilometers southwest of Sarangani, with a depth of 63 kilometers. The earthquake was likely caused by the Cotabato Trench, and was felt throughout a large portion of Mindanao. In the following 14 hours, the DOST-PHIVOLCS Philippine Seismic Network recorded 58 aftershocks ranging from 1.4 to 3.9 magnitude.
At this intensity level, many people are likely to be frightened and may seek safety outdoors. Heavy objects and furniture may be overturned or toppled, and large church bells may ring.
Old or poorly-constructed buildings may sustain significant damage, while some well-built structures may experience minor damage. Cracks may appear on dikes, fish ponds, road surfaces, or concrete hollow block walls.
Additionally, limited liquefaction, lateral spreading, and landslides may occur. Trees are also likely to be shaken strongly.
According to reports, over 1,500 families have been affected, with their homes either damaged or their sources of income disrupted, across the province. The Glan Municipal Hall sustained significant damage and has been deemed unfit for occupation.
According to an email sent to TIME, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRMMC) has received reports of seven fatalities, but is still in the process of confirming these figures.
The council’s working group is currently looking into six additional deaths that occurred in various locations throughout the region, including General Santos City, South Cotabato, Glan, Sarangani, Jose Abad Santos, Davao Occidental, and Malapatan, Sarangani. TIME has contacted the appropriate government agencies for more information.
According to local authorities, three individuals have lost their lives in General Santos City as a result of the earthquake.
Corporal Christopher Laraño of General Santos City Police Station 4 confirmed to TIME in a phone call at around 1 a.m. local time on Saturday that his station had received reports of two fatalities.
He stated that a married couple, aged 18 and 26, respectively, had succumbed to their injuries after a wall collapsed on top of them.
The provincial government of Sarangani has announced that three individuals have lost their lives in the recent incidents that took place in the province, with two occurring in Glan and one in Malapatan.
According to an official report posted on Facebook, 61 people sustained injuries in Glan, with 56 suffering minor injuries, four experiencing serious wounds, and one pregnant individual requiring treatment in another city. Additionally, four people were hospitalized in Malapatan.
Result of Earthquake in Mindanao
two popular malls, SM City General Santos and Robinsons GenSan, as well as a school.
The footage depicted panicked individuals cowering and shouting for cover as pillars swayed precariously.
In response to the incident, both malls announced a temporary shutdown, while fortunately, there were no reports of injuries.
The administration’s central office stated that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. issued a directive to all relevant government bodies, stressing the importance of taking measures to secure the protection and well-being of all individuals impacted by the recent earthquake.
The Philippines is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions because of its position on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a horseshoe-shaped zone of seismic fractures surrounding the ocean.
Read more: How strong is the Mindanao Earthquake?