KIDAPAWAN CITY – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has recorded 53 aftershocks following the 8:36 p.m. first tremor traced 15 kilometers west of Makilala, North Cotabato on Tuesday.

The latest of the aftershocks were felt at 8:46 a.m. Wednesday, the Phivolcs online bulletin indicated.

Disaster officials here have suspended classes in all levels, both private and public schools, and in the towns of Antipas and Makilala following a magnitude 5.6 earthquake Tuesday night that was tectonic in origin.

“Classes were suspended to ensure the safety of pupils while disaster officials and public works engineers inspect damages in school buildings,” Psalmer Bernalte, Kidapawan City disaster chief, said in a statement.

In nearby Tulunan municipality, classes were only suspended Wednesday morning.

Bernalte said the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) is now conducting damage assessment in all schools in Kidapawan City to ensure safety before resuming classes.

Phivolcs said of the 53 aftershocks, a magnitude 4.8 tremor was the strongest after the first tremor traced to the Makilala-Tulunan fault line.

The aftershocks sent several watchers and relatives to bring their patients out of the Kidapawan Doctors Hospital building here Tuesday evening.

Kidapawan City Mayor Joseph Evangelista also ordered the suspension of office work Wednesday at the three-story Kidapawan City Hall after cracks were discovered in the building following the magnitude-5.6 quake.

“Assessment is still going on at the city hall,” Evangelista said. (PNA)

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