DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A series of earthquakes for two days have forced the cancellation of Davao de Oro’s Bulawan Festival for March 7 and 8.
Work and classes in the whole province are suspended indefinitely in the whole province starting March 7 by Davao de Oro Governor Dorothy Montejo-Gonzaga as they will assess the damages to school buildings.
Prior to this, seven towns of the province, New Bataan, Montevista, Maragusan, Monkayo, Pantukan, Maco, and Mabini had already suspended their face-to-face classes because of the tremors that started on March 6.
The Bulawan Festival will still push through with the scheduled Pontifical Mass and Foundation Day Program.
Five earthquakes with epicenter in New Bataan were recorded by the Philippine Volcanology Institute of Volcanology (Phivolcs).
The last three earthquakes were recorded at magnitude 5.3 on March 6 at 4:43 am; magnitude 5.9 and 5.6 on March 7 which happened at 2:02 pm and 4:47 pm.
Monday’s quake resulted in the collapse of a portion of the highway on the Maragusan-New Bataan Road. Motorists are advised to take an alternate road.
The earthquakes caused panic across the province. In Mawab, students suffered panic attacks and fainted during the strong tremors. Residents in Barangay New Leyte, Maco evacuated to a nearby school for safety.
The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Office in Davao del Norte reported damage to the ceiling inside Gaisano Grand Mall in Tagum City. A 19-year woman with special needs sustained a minor injury and was also rescued after a concrete fire wall collapsed.
The tremor also resulted in two landslides that happened on Brgy Katipunan in the town of Nabunturan.
As of 6:40 pm on March 7, the Department of Public Works, and Highways (DPWH) XI has issued a travel advisory to the public that the Montevista-Compostela-Mati Road is not passable advising motorists to take the Compostela – Gabi – Magangit Road and New Bataan – Panag – Camanlangan Road while the Montevista- Compostela- New Bataan- Mati Bdry. Road in Lanipao to Araibo Bdry.Pantukan is passable to all types of vehicles with precaution at the Lanipao section due to threats of landslide. (davaotoday.com)