DIGOS CITY — A Department of Science and Technology (DOST) official warned this city

remains vulnerable to earthquakes as it lies on a soft land surface that makes it unsuitable for high-rise structures.

Vicente Dangangon, chief of DOST provincial office in Davao del Sur, said the situation is especially dangerous for edifices in urban areas that failed to comply with the building code standards.

Dangangon issued the statement after Tuesday’s 5.3 magnitude tremor that hit the city and neighboring areas. No major structural damage was reported on any of the buildings here, aside from fluorescent lamps and ceilings that fell.

Dangangon said anyone who wants to build high-rise buildings should be more cautious and compliant with the Building Code of the Philippines to avoid the loss of lives and damage to their properties during strong earthquakes.

“The urban center here is a very flat plane with soft and sandy top soil,” he said.

He also advised the public to “be cautious and vigilant at all times since earthquakes are unpredictable.”

To date, the city’s highest building, which is still under construction, is just an eight-story building, and the majority of the existing malls and commercial buildings are just three to four-stories.

School buildings all around the urban areas range from two to six-story structures. A PHP200-million four-story city hall building is now under construction and set for completion in 2021. (PNA)

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