One dead, dozens injured in Surigao quake

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(CNN Philippines) — One person is confirmed dead and dozens are injured after a magnitude-5.9 quake jolted Surigao del Norte on Sunday, a month after a major earthquake hit the province in February.

Read: At least 8 dead; 202 injured in magnitude 6.7 Surigao quake

The Surigao City Public Information Office and local disaster council confirmed on Sunday the death of a 65-year old woman and 41 other earthquake-related injuries after the quake struck the province at 8:08 a.m. Sunday.

The victim, 65-year old Socorro Cenes, of Surigao City, died of cardiac arrest at the height of the earthquake.

Ana Dagcuta, Public Information Officer at the government-owned Caraga Regional Hospital, said as of Sunday, four local hospitals in Surigao City have recorded 41 earthquake-related injuries. She said, four of these 41 cases were admitted for serious injuries.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said the Sunday's tremor was an aftershock of the magnitude-6.7 quake that hit Surigao on February 10.

Following the 5.9-magnitude quake residents felt three more aftershocks jolt the province-- one of which registered as high as magnitude 4.

Buildings damaged

Surigao City Vice Mayor Alfonso Casurra said on Sunday the city is conducting rapid assessment of the damage dealt by the aftershock.

In an interview with CNN Philippines, Casurra said the local government is assessing bridges and other structures possibly affected by the quake.

Casurra said Sunday's aftershock further damaged buildings weakened by the initial February 10 earthquake.

"Ang reported samin ngayon ay yung mga nasira nun ay talagang nasira na ngayon. Yung mga slightly damaged before it has been reported now that merong damage na talagang na [naguho]," he said.

[Translation: Reports say the structures damaged before were further devastated by this quake. Those slightly damaged before have reportedly caved in.]

In a later interview, Casurra also added the local government is taking measures to pinpoint buildings damaged by the quake.

"We have cited already the buildings whose structural integrity will be considered no longer habitable. Tomorrow we will be issuing the necessary order for them to either demolish the area or cordon the area in whatever way the structure would not cause any injury or destruction to neighboring houses," said Casurra.

Residents in still shock

Casurra also said residents remain in shock following the tremors.

"Yung mga tao kasi ngayon nasa state of shock pa kasi malakas at mahaba yung quake," Casurra said, adding "It's almost about 5-7 seconds. Mahaba atsaka swaying ito, unlike yung previous Feb. 10 parang jolts yung nararamdaman namin," he said.

[The people are still in a state of shock because the quake was strong and took long. It's almost 5-7 seconds. It lasted for a while and it was swaying, unlike the previous Feb. 10 quake where we felt jolts.]

As aftershocks continue to rock the province, local officials have stressed the importance of counseling and other forms of disaster psychosocial interventions to help residents deal with its impact.

While Casurra said the February 10 quake has left residents more prepared for tremors, he said they are still trying to cope with the continuing aftershocks it has dealt.

"Everybody is still trying to catch their breath after the three aftershocks... Everybody now is trying to figure out how they would be able to cope with another aftershock especially that it's already evening," Casurra said.

He added, residents are wary of possible aftershocks at night.

"They are more on alert right now in whatever way they can do if ever there are again aftershocks later this evening-- god forbid," he said.

No tsunami threat, aftershocks normal

In an interview with CNN Philippines, PHIVOLCS Director Dr. Renato Solidum reiterated there was no tsunami threat following the 5.9-magnitude aftershock.

"Definitely the magnitude is not so much to generate even a tsunami. The movement of the fault is not vertical... with those two parameters definitely there will be no tsunami," he said.

Solidum said aftershocks were normal following a strong quake.

"Ïn some other areas like the Bohol earthquake of 2013, aftershocks have been felt even a year or two after that major earthquake," he said.

Solidum said PHIVOLCS is expecting more aftershocks following the magnitude-5.9 quake.

He added, residents should avoid buildings damaged by the February 10 quake and its subsequent aftershocks.

"We also mentioned before that buildings that have suffered damages in the Feb. 10 earthquake should not be used because aftershocks might cause additional damages or even total collapse of structure that have been affected before whenever there's a strong aftershock that should happen," he said.