Shelterbox and Rotary are on standby to assist after the reported earthquake in the Phililppines on 6 July 2017.
According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, the 6.9 magnitude earthquake centered eight kilometers southwest of Jaro town on Leyte Island (11.16°N, 124.71°E – 008 km S 67° W of Jaro). Intensity 5 tremors were felt in Tacloban City, Palo, Leyte and Cebu City; and intensity 4 in Tolosa, Leyte; Sagay City, Negros Occidental; Burgos, Surigao del Norte.
‘Initial inquiries from contacts in Tacloban, Palo and Tanauan Leyte (which are near the epicenter) revealed that the shaking lasted around 20 seconds, immediate power blackouts ensued, and people going out of buildings’ – Source: UNOCHA Philippines
The lack of reporting in the immediate vicinity tallies with reports of the outage of power and communications equipment including phone and data masts. The affected areas are predominantly rural. However, the slightly denser population to the northeast is the city of Ormoc, where there was limited damage.
The limited damage in Kananga, coupled with its proximity to the epicenter, suggests that the damage may be relatively small for such a significant and shallow earthquake. This may be down to the predominantly wooden framing in the local housing stock*, which flexes rather than cracking – unlike concrete, stone and masonry-based structures.
ShelterBox have made OCHA and partners aware that we are monitoring the effects of the earthquake. This enables other parties to contact them if they identify needs that are compatible with our offering.
Operations Coordinator, Dave Ray was on the 8th floor of a building as the earthquake struck. We connected with Dave to hear first-hand what it was like when the building began to wobble.
In this video recorded shortly after the quake, Dave tells us how ShelterBox was in discussions with Rotary and the Philippines Red Cross within 20 minutes of the earthquake first hitting.
As much of the Philippines remains without communication lines, Dave’s account provides a rare insight into the early phases of this response.
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