by: Robelyn M. Yambao
This month is supposed to be a happy and sweet month of the year since people are looking forward to celebrate Valentine's day. Unfortunately, it became a scary moment when Earthquake hits my hometown last February 10, 2017.
It was evening, we were sleeping when the ground woke us up with this largest quake recorded in our hometown, it was like the end of the world. On that very moment, I whispered prayers asking God to protect us and help us. The shaking of the ground lasted for seconds, we were at the attic during that time. When the Earthquake has finally stopped, we checked our ground floor very quick and all of our things that have been placed in shelving and refrigerator scattered on the floor. We found our rice cooker and blender on the ground. Also the two trays of eggs and other stuff from kitchen. I'm blessed that my prayers were answered because no one in the family was hurt and miraculously only blender and a cup were broken from the said 6.7 magnitude Earthquake. The electricity automatically turned off so, we used our emergency lights. Our boarders were outside of the house and really scared waiting for the alert from the municipality. The entire city was totally in blackouts. After awhile, we went back to bed as if nothing happened while my boarders stayed awake until morning to watch out for the tsunami alert.
Damages The Next Morning
The next morning, I saw the damage left by the quake on our floor. There were cracking but nothing serious. When I checked Facebook, I saw some pictures that gave me ideas on how serious the damages in our city were left in different houses of the town. The school next to our place where some of my boarders studying was really in bad shape. It collapsed! The main picture I used above in this article is the SSCT which is the University near our place.
Aside from blackout, our water was also affected. As you can see in the picture above, the fire truck distributed water to the citizens so they can use it at home. We also did not have water but we still survived with our stock up water at home. On the third day after the quake, the electricity and water returned to our place. But, other places that seriously affected by the quake were really suffering from having no water and electricity at home. Other people evacuated from an open space like in Capitol because of after shock was still felt every now and then. After the major quake, we experienced numerous after shock which are little quakes everyday. The strongest after shock was 4.11 magnitude recorded last Saturday. Experts said that we will experience a lot of after shock and it is normal as they said but it's going to last some weeks or months. Rest assured that the after shocks won't reach the same magnitude with the major Earthquake. The cause of the quake was the moving of the south part of Surigao horizontally going North and the part of Leyte going south. There will be no Tsunami because of this movement horizontally couldn't cause water to raise up according to the experts. The largest Earthquake recorded in history in Surigao part was 7.4 magnitude in 1879. In my existence here in Surigao, this quake last Friday was the strongest Earth Quake with 6.7 magnitude I've ever experienced in the largest damages ever happened. Below are the damages left by the quake:
MAJOR BUILDINGS IN THE CITY PROPER
I always pass by in this University since this is next to my place. That damage was in front of their building. It is at the main entrance door. The classes were cancelled due to this damage. They don't have official announcement yet when will be the resume of their classes. My boarders went back to their respective hometowns since then.
This is where I always get my product to display in my store since their price here is really cheap. The four floors are not really used for commercial for long years, only the ground floor is operating. But, the damage is really disturbing.
The airport couldn't be used. Even the President of the Philippines Mr. Duterte landed in Butuan city then used chopper from there to Surigao during his visitation to check the situation of the town.
This is the front of the hotel. You can see this in the high way when you go to airport or Gaisano Mall.
This mall is next to the bus terminal and airport. The hangout of most of the people in Surigao. I also buy my groceries here since they accept credit cards. I also paid my Pag-Ibig contribution here where the office is located inside plus the immigration office. Because of the damage left by the strong quake, it has the possibility to become a disposable building.
What to do during the calamity?
Always be alert. The first thing you do is to PRAY! Don't panic so, nervous won't attack and you can think to do the right thing in a clear mind.
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A licensed teacher in the Philippines who shifted her career into another direction to follow her passion to be a blogger. Her blogs are related in traveling and simple living as an expat in a foreign land.