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Masbate tremor causes P24M damage, sinkhole

LEGAZPI CITY --- The 6.6 magnitude earthquake that struck the island province of Masbate on Tuesday, Aug. 18 has resulted in some P 24-million damage to various structures, a sea sinkhole, liquefaction, and sea intrusion caused by subsidence and fault movement, an aerial survey conducted by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) revealed.

The sea sinkhole was discovered at Barangay Kasabangan in Pio V. Corpus and the soil liquefaction at Barangay Matayum, Cataingan town.

At least 19 schools from the towns of Batuan, Cataingan, Dimasalang, Palanas, Pio V. Corpus and Placer were also damaged.

Landslides were also reported in Barangays Nothing and Bugtong in Pio V. Corpus.

OCD Bicol also reported P23,960,000.00 initial damages on roads, bridges and other government infrastructures as a result of the earthquake. The amount of damages is expected to rise as soon as the disaster assessment is completed.

The strong quake also claimed the life of a 63-years-old retired police officer and injured 48 persons, according to Claudio Yucot, OCD Bicol regional director and Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC) chairperson.

The fatality retired Police Col. Gilbert Sauro, 63, was inside his house at Sitio Alimango, Barangay Concepcion in Cataingan town, Masbate when the earthquake struck at 8:03 AM. A falling concrete beam hit him, which caused his death.

Sauro’s body was retrieved from the rubbles of his house in Cataingan by rescuers from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).

The Aug. 18 earthquake coincided with the 8th death anniversary of Interior and Local Government Sec Jessie Robredo, who perished in a plane crash in Masbate, some 25 kilometers or so from Cataingan town, the epicenter of the earthquake.

The injured individuals were from the towns of: 27 from Palanas; 18 – Cataingan; 2 - Pio V. Corpuz; Uson and Masbate city with one each.

As Aug 19, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has counted 46 aftershocks of different intensities since Tuesday morning’s strong quake.

The OCD recorded 22 totally damaged houses in Palanas town, and one each in Cataingan and Pio V. Corpus.

The damaged buildings in Cataingan included those housing the Public Attorney’s Office, municipal public market, municipal police station as well as the docking area of Cataingan port.

Cracks in the concrete roads were observed in Cataingan and in its adjoining towns. The jolt destroyed the approach of Nabangig Bridge in Palanas town.

All roads and bridges across Masbate mainland have remained passable to vehicles, according to Col. Joriz A. Cantoria, Masbate police director

For fear of more structures that may collapse, people in Cataingan, Palanas and Pio V. Corpus continue to stay outside as series of aftershocks continue to occur in the third district of the province.

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