M5.5 quake rocks Leyte, Visayas

MANY Cebuanos and Leyteños were jolted from their sleep when a magnitude 5.5 earthquake shook some parts of Visayas around 5:20 a.m. Monday, March 2, 2020.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported that the quake’s epicenter was located eight kilometers southeast of Leyte, Leyte.

The tremor was tectonic and had a depth of nine kilometers. It struck Leyte at 5:19 a.m.

The local governments of Carigara and Capoocan in Leyte have suspended classes in all levels following the magnitude 5.5 earthquake that hit the province.

Carigara Mayor Eduardo Ong directed the school officials to conduct an initial inspection within their respective areas and to report to the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) for assessment.

The Capoocan MDRRMO also issued the same directive hours after the tremor, whose epicenter was located eight kilometers southeast of Leyte town in Leyte.

No injuries have so far been reported in Capoocan, according to the town’s chief of police Captain Arnel Sarigumba.

However, Jun Dacillo of the Biliran Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office reported that the ceiling of at least four classrooms of Biliran Science High School collapsed while cracks were visible in its walls.

Nobody was allowed to enter the school pending assessment of the building’s integrity.

Classes at the Biliran National Agricultural College were also suspended, as authorities inspected the damage caused by the earthquake. Some private schools in Ormoc City also suspended classes Monday.

The quake was felt in the following areas:

Intensity 5 — Leyte, Kananga, Capoocan and Pastrana, Leyte; Tacloban City and Ormoc City

Intensity 4 — Palo, Dulag, Babatngon, Alang-alang and Palompon, Leyte; Mandaue City and Cebu City; and Naval, Biliran

Intensity 3 — Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu; and Lawaan, Eastern Samar

Instrumental intensity 4 — Ormoc City; Naval, Biliran; and Borongan City, Eastern Samar

Instrumental intensity 2 — Bago City

Instrumental intensity 1 — Masbate City and Roxas City. (JKDP/LMY/SunStar Philippines)