5.3-quake damages school buildings, offices in Camarines Norte

LEGAZPI CITY (PNA) – The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Bicol are continuously monitoring Camarines Norte after a magnitude-5.3 earthquake damaged school buildings and offices in the province on Wednesday, Dec. 7.

Eric de Castro, Camarines Norte DRRM officer, said they conducted monitoring and an information and education campaign right after the earthquake.

"We also conducted an assessment through our provincial engineering office. We also coordinated with the Department of Education, consultation with the School Division Offices with their engineers and the school buildings were also discussed," he said during an online meeting on Thursday, Dec. 8, with concerned government agencies.

De Castro said they also advised schools with high-impact damage not to use the building if it will put the safety of students at risk.

In a report of the OCD-Bicol, cracks were found in different elementary and high school buildings, government offices, rural health units, barangay halls, and day-care centers in the municipalities of Capalonga, Labo, Mercedes, Paracale, Santa Elena, and Vinzons.

No disruption of power, water, or communication lines was recorded.

In Mercedes, some students were reported to have fainted at the San Roque National High School and four barangays with a total of 40 individuals experienced panic during the earthquake while conducting the barangay DRRM planning.

‘’Some students suffered hyperventilation at Vinzons Pilot High School and all were responded to by the emergency rescue team," said Jessar Adornado, OCD-5 DRRM division chief.