THE strong earthquakes that hit Batangas last Saturday caused "minor" damage although almost 6,000 persons had to evacuate because of fear, Ricardo Jalad, NDRRMC executive director and concurrent administrator of the Office of Civil Defense, said yesterday.
The natural disaster was felt in other municipalities like Mabini, Cuenca, Agoncillo, Bauan, and Taal, where landslides in several barangays were reported and some roads became impassable.
The earthquakes struck at 3.08pm, a minute later, then twenty minutes after that and could be felt in the capital Manila 62 miles north, according to AFP which said its reporters saw people fleeing buildings as they had in Mabini.
"Based on initial submissions on the effects, it's more on the damage to houses and some facilities".
Reports of houses that collapsed in some parts of Batangas are still being confirmed.
Scenes of people flooding the streets, evacuating schools, shopping malls, and hospitals are being reported by locals.
In Quezon, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Action Officer Dr. Henry Buzar said the earthquakes were felt in the province.
Gianan pointed out that Phivolcs is still verifying if Saturday's earthquakes are separate events, and not aftershocks, since they are stronger than last Tuesday's 5.5-magnitude tremor that hit Tingloy, Batangas.
Phivolcs said Intensity 5 was documented in Batangas City, Sto. "I need to declare a state of calamity".
Intensity 3 was felt in Makati City, Pasay City, Quezon City, Muntinlupa City, Malabon City, Mandaluyong City and Bacoor, Cavite. Batangas was still reeling from a quake that hit off Tingloy town Tuesday night.
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"There are no evacuation centers established".
"It would be best if they will just stay inside their homes".
"We are also monitoring the Taal Volcano".
In Mabini town more than 2,000 individuals camped in front of the town hall following the twin quakes.
The Basilica of Immaculate Conception was also damaged, while a hotel in Barangay Ligaya in Mabini collapsed, with huge debris falling on three vehicles parked near the building.
"The quake was stronger", Mercado said.
Abu said the church in Bauan town was damaged.
The official said a portion of the Basilica Church in Batangas City was also damaged but said it was minor. "But if their houses were damaged by the natural disaster, then that is when they have to get out of their homes", said Solidum.
The first quake, measuring 5.6-magnitude was felt around 3:07 p.m.
Based on Phivolcs' Earthquake Intensity Scale, Intensity 7 is "destructive".