Three earthquakes hit Negros Occidental yesterday, with the strongest at magnitude 5.8 at its epicenter off Cauayan town, and felt at Intensity 4 in Bacolod and Bago cities, at 1:21:40 p.m., a PHIVOLCS report said.
People at restaurants, homes, schools and offices in Bacolod City, said they felt the buildings they were in, shake for several seconds.
At the Bacolod Hall of Justice, the Negros Occidental Capitol, the Bacolod Government Center, and many other offices in the city, workers left their buildings and were seen on the side of road.
Several schools also sent their students home but are expected to resume classes today.
“We sent our students home because we want to inspect our buildings to make sure there was no damage from the quake,” Bro. Ray Suplido, president of the University of St. La Salle, said.
West Negros University, La Consolacion College and Patricia Homes Elementary School also sent their students home.
Bacolod City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office head Jose Marie Vargas said pupils in many public schools calmly filed out of their classrooms when the quake hit as they had practiced in drills held with them, and returned to their classrooms after the tremor.
The earthquake that shook Negros Occidental at 1:21 p.m. was recorded by PHIVOLCS at magnitude 5.8 at its epicenter 10.03° north, 122.25° east - 026 km north 71° west of Cauayan town.
Its reported intensities were 5 in Cauayan, Ilog, Kabankalan, Binalbagan, Hinobaan and Hinigaran in Negros Occidental, and Iloilo City;
Intensity 4 in Sigma, Capiz; Alimodian, Iloilo; Anini-y, Antique; Bacolod City, Bago City and Pontevedra in Negros Occidental; Dumaguete City, Bayawan, Sta. Catalina, Tayasan and Pamplona, Negros Oriental; Nueva Valencia, Guimaras;
Intensity 3 in Dao and Roxas, Capiz; Patnongon, San Jose, Culasi, Sibalom, Pandan, San Remigio, Berbasa, Sebaste, Dao, Tibiao, Valderama and Bugasong in Antique; Masbate City; Lezo and Kalibo, Aklan; and Intensity 2 in Canlaon City and Murcia, Negros Occidental; and Dipolog City.
PHIVOLCS senior science research specialist, Enrico Mangao, told the DAILY STAR aftershocks could occur with a magnitude 5.8 earthquake.
The tectonic earthquake was triggered by a sudden movement of the earth's crust, caused by the release of stress accumulated at the Negros Trench, he said.
At 12:26:22 p.m. yesterday, a magnitude three quake also hitwith its epicenter 10.10°N, 122.25°E - 041 km N 24° W of Sipalay City, Negros Occidental.
A tectonic earthquake hit at 2:52:17 a.m. yesterday with a magnitude of four at the epicenter 09.55°N, 122.53°E - 003 km S 77° E of Barangay Asia, Hinoba-an, Negros Occidental.
It was felt at Intensity 4 in Hinoba-an, and Intensity 3 in Bayawan, Negros Oriental, and Sipalay City.
At 8:25:45 a.m. Sunday, a magnitude 3.4 earthquake with epicenter 09.87°N, 122.20°E - 026 km N 61° W of Sipalay City, Negros Occidental, also hit, PHIVOLCS said.
It was felt at Intensity 3 in Sipalay City and Hinoba-an in Negros Occidental.*CPG