Two women were injured when a waiting shed collapsed during a magnitude 4.6 earthquake in Southern Mindanao yesterday (Thursday, February 23).
The tremor occurred at 9.50am with an epicentre about six miles northwest of Davao City at a depth of about 10 miles, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.
It was felt in Compostela Valley and Davao del Norte provinces, as well as in the cities of Tagum, Panabo and Davao.
Quakes of such magnitude and depth are not generally expected to cause much damage.
Later in the same day, at about 5.15pm, a magnitude four quake was recorded about four miles west of the city. Although it was closer and slightly shallower, no damage has been reported.
The two injuries recorded during the first quake were caused when a waiting shed on Quirino Avenue, Davao, collapsed.
Maria Teresa Pusta, aged 43, and Fe Yu, 66, were waiting in the shed for a jeepney when the quake struck.
Resident Orlando Montilla told The Inquirer that the shed was more than 30 years old. “I’m already 45 years old. The shed was already there when I was a first grader at school.”
The Davao City government has ordered its Engineering Department to inspect all public structures for cracks and and damage that could cause safety concerns.
The quake came just days after an oarfish washed up on the opposite side of the island in Cagayan de Oro — a phenomenon said to be a warning of upcoming quakes. In Japan the deep-water dwelling fish are known as “The messenger from the Sea God’s palace” for the apparent correlation between their appearance and quakes.
Scientists are currently engaged in a long-term study to see if there is indeed any correlation between their appearance on land and quakes within a 500-mile radius.
Earlier this month, following the beaching of another oarfish in Agusan del Norte, a magnitude-6.7 earthquake struck the Caraga region, causing massive damage in the city of Surigao and killing or wounding over 120 people.
Another quake measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale was recorded on Wednesday in Davao Occidental.