By: Jennifer P. Rendon, Gail Momblan, Emme Rose Santiagudo and Dolly Yasa
CLASSES and work in public offices in some areas of Panay and Guimaras were suspended after a series of earthquakes shook the islands morning of Nov 5, 2018.
In a span of 6 hours, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) recorded 12 earthquakes that happened between 7:54 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday.
Most of these, though, were hardly felt in Iloilo City.
All quakes were tectonic in nature. Tectonic earthquakes are the result of rocks breaking along a fault in the earth’s crust where the strain has built up to a point where the rocks snap and shake.
The two major quakes that shook Iloilo City and some parts of Iloilo province and Panay happened at 7:54 a.m. and 10:54 a.m. Monday.
The first 7:45 a.m. temblor was measured at magnitude 4.7 and its epicenter was in Leon, Iloilo. Intensity 3 was reported in Iloilo City.
Magnitude measures the energy released at the source of the earthquake. It is determined from measurements on seismographs.
Intensity measures the strength of shaking produced by the earthquake at a certain location. It is determined from effects on people, human structures, and the natural environment.
On the other hand, the 10:54 a.m. quake was measured at magnitude 4.8 and was also centered in Leon town.
The other quakes were hardly felt in Iloilo City:
- 7:46 a.m., magnitude 3.9, epicenter is 10 kilometers south of Leon, Iloilo;
- 8:46 a.m., magnitude 2.3, epicenter 2.3 kilometers north of Buenavista, Guimaras;
- 9:18 a.m., magnitude 2.6, epicenter 8 km north of Sibunag, Guimaras; and
- 9:22 a.m., magnitude 2.2, epicenter 12 kilometers north of Sibunag, Guimaras.
The 10:54 a.m. quake triggered suspension of classes.
After that, five quakes with epicenters in Leon town, Iloilo happened at 11:05 a.m., 11:22 a.m.; 11:31 a.m.; 12:09 p.m. and 3 p.m. The quakes’ magnitudes ranged from 2.0 to 2.9.
Latest information claimed that several schools in Guimbal were partially damaged while the Don Pedro Trono Memorial District Hospital was evacuated after cracks were detected in the delivery and emergency rooms.
Grace Villastin of Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (MDRRMO) of Guimbal said authorities detected wall displacement between the annex and the main building of the town’s municipal hall.
Slight damages and hair-like cracks were reported in the following schools:
- Igcocolo Elementary School
- Cabasi-Sta. Rosa Elementary School
- Particion National High School
- Nanga Elementary School
- Nalundan Elementary School
- Camangahan National High School
- Guimbal Central Elementary School
- Guimbal National High School
The beam and plywood ceiling of the Kindergarten classroom of Igcocolo Elementary School fell during the quake.
Villastin advised the residents in the coastal barangays from Nanga to Calampitao to be alert especially at nighttimes.
“Mag uligmat kung gab-ekag kung may unusual bala nga mag-atras ang tubig, indi na kita maghulat pa kundi magsaka na sa taas taas nga lugar,” she said.
Classes at all levels in the nearby town of Miag-ao were also suspended.
Joyce Ann Javier of MDRRMO Tubungan reported a slight damage at the belfry of the Catholic Church in Tubungan, Iloilo.
Meanwhile, patients at the OB-Gynecology ward of the Rep. Pedro G. Trono Memorial District Hospital in Guimbal Iloilo were transferred to a service area, Provincial Administrator Dr. Raul Banias reported.
The ward is located on the second floor of the hospital building.
An assessment team from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) was sent to the hospital to evaluate the structural integrity of the building.
Around 67 patients in of the Aleosan District Hospital in Barangay Bancal, Alimodian were also transferred to a safe area due to the cracks seen in the roof deck and other portions of the building.
Iloilo City Mayor Jose Espinosa III announced the suspension of classes past 11 a.m. Monday.
In a Facebook page of the Iloilo City Government, Espinosa said, “ensure safety of everyone in Iloilo City because of the earthquake, classes are suspended in all levels both public and private schools. Iloilo City Hall will also be closed for the rest of the day.
However, “I leave it upon the discretion of private companies and national govt agencies to declare suspension of work,” Espinosa added.
The Iloilo provincial capitol was also closed for the rest of the day.
In Bacolod City construction workers of the Ayala Capitol Mall were ordered to evacuate for their safety, along with employees at the Commission on Elections office in San Juan Street. They returned to work after their respective buildings were declared safe.