1 dead as strong quake rattles Visayas, Mindanao PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 07 February 2012 13:42

A 6.8 earthquake struck off the coast of the central Philippines yesterday, killing at least one person and causing panic in cities where buildings shook, authorities said.

A still unidentified child was pinned to death after a wall collapsed due to the earthquake that  struck Negros Oriental and Cebu Province at 1 p.m. yesterday, military and disaster authorities said.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City said the child was pinned down by collapsed wall in Taysan, Negros Oriental.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome ordered immediate mobilization of all PNP resources and personnel in Central and Western Visayas to assist in disaster response and mitigation efforts in the aftermath of the earthquake.

Local PNP Units in Police Regional Office (PRO)-7 under Chief Supt Marcelo Garbo and PRO- 6 under Chief Supt Cipriano Querol Jr. were alerted to establish effective information and mass communication systems in coordination with LGUs and local NDRRMC agencies to sound-off the tsunami warning alert in coastal and low-lying areas in these provinces.

PNP units in nearby Regions were also placed on standby for possible augmentation to affected provinces.

A tsunami alert issued immediately after the tremor has been lifted but vigilance should remain, Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum said.

“As of 2:30 pm, level 2 is canceled. The alert was for the eastern side of Negros and western coast of Cebu. But we will continue to monitor,” said Solidum in an interview.

Earlier in the day, Phivolcs placed several areas on tsunami alert Level 2, following a 6.9-magnitude quake in Negros and Cebu.

Panic and worry gripped several PHL areas Phivolcs reported a strong local earthquake with a depth of 10 km occurred offshore Negros Oriental at 11:49 a.m.

“People are advised to stay away from the shoreline. People should not go to the coast to watch the tsunami. People whose houses are very near coastal areas of Negros and Cebu islands are strongly advised to be watchful,” Phivolcs earlier warned.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement that President Benigno Aquino III has already tasked PHIVOLCS to monitor the affected areas for further seismic activity.

Lacierda said Coast Guard Chief Edmund Tan has been instructed to prevent fishermen from going out to sea for the duration of the alert, while Department of Social Welfare and Development personnel are already on standby to lend support and relief to affected citizens.

“While there are no forced evacuations being ordered, we implore the people in affected areas to remain vigilant and take the necessary safety precautions. Let us cooperate with government agencies, allow them to do their work, and remain calm and watchful,” he said.