Magnitude 5.2 aftershock hits Masbate

August 19, 2020

A MAGNITUDE 5.2 aftershock was recorded early Wednesday morning in Cataingan, Masbate, after a magnitude 6.6 earthquake left two people dead, injured at least 50 others, and destroyed homes as well as other infrastructures on Tuesday.

An update issued by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) showed the aftershock occurred at 5:50 a.m.

Tremors, which centered 12 kilometers southwest of Cataingan town, was the strongest recorded aftershock since a  6.6 magnitude quake shook the island province, other towns in the Bicol Region, and a large swath of the Visayas.

Wednesday’s quake had a depth of focus of six kilometers.

No reported intensity was recorded from this quake, but Phivolcs said more aftershocks are expected.

The Phivolcs earlier said the magnitude 6.6 earthquake was caused by the movement of the Philippine fault zone, a 1,200-kilometers-long major tectonic feature that transects the whole Philippine archipelago from northwestern Luzon to southeastern Mindanao.

Phivolcs recorded over 200 aftershocks since the quake.

Meanwhile, the municipality of Cataingan, Masbate, has no funds to aid the victims of the magnitude 6.6 earthquake that hit the town on Tuesday because most of its budget has already been allocated to COVID-19 response efforts.

This was bared bay Cataingan Mayor Felipe Cabataña as he appealed to the national government for funds to help the affected residents.

“Kung maaari sana 'yung pananawagan ko sa national government na sana tulungan kami kasi ang pondo namin sa calamity halos naubos na sa COVID. Hindi naman kami mag-aasa na may lindol na darating kaya hindi namin nalagyan ng allocation 'yung ganitong klaseng kalamidad kaya medyo nahihirapan ang tao,” the mayor explained.

Cabataña said that several residents have been staying outside of their homes as aftershocks are being experienced in their area every two to three hours.

The mayor particularly asked for tent donations to be able to provide temporary shelter for the residents.

In line with this, Cabataña expressed concern that the evacuees might ignore social distancing in evacuation centers, which only have limited space. In each barangay, 10 to 20 families have evacuated.

“'Yun na nga yung problema. Sa evacuation center, hindi na masyadong ma-observe 'yung social distancing kasi maliit 'yung lugar. Ang evacuation center maraming tao,” he said.

The earthquake also damaged the ports in Cataingan that prompted the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) to suspend their operations.

The mayor said the suspension will affect Cataingan as 90 percent of its economy is coming from the trade with Cebu City through these ports.