By Glazyl Masculino
BACOLOD CITY – The Provincial Disaster Management Program Division (PDMPD) is monitoring the fault lines in Negros Occidental, following a 6.5-magnitude earthquake that hit Eastern Samar on Tuesday afternoon.
The earthquake was felt at Intensity 2 in the cities of Bacolod and Bago, according to reports from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs). It was also felt in other areas in the province, including cities of Cadiz and Silay, and Pontevedra town.
Zeaphard Gerhart Caelian, head of PDMPD, said authorities are closely monitoring the Negros Trench, considering it is more “dangerous” as movements are under the sea.
Though there was no reported damage in the province, including Bacolod City, Caelian said authorities are keeping an eye in the East Negros Fault System, including San Carlos Fault, which stretches from Calatrava in Negros Occidental to some localities in Negros Oriental to check if there are movements due to the recent tremors.
The PDMPD is also monitoring other earthquake generators like the West Negros Fault, Central Negros Fault, and Southern Negros Fault, though aftershocks are only expected near the epicenter of the earthquake.
Jose Marie Vargas, cluster head of Bacolod City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, said that about 30 percent of commercial buildings in the downtown area are not stable enough to withstand strong seismic activities.
Building owners were previously advised to make repairs but the renovation did not materialize.
Some mall-goers and employees immediately went out from the establishments and offices after a “slight jolt” was felt in Bacolod City around 1:40 p.m.
It also disrupted the operations of the Provincial Capitol for about 30 minutes.