Philippine Standard Time 4:14 PM Philippine Standard Time (PST) on 17 November 2023 (Friday), a strong earthquake with magnitude (MW ) 6.8 shook the municipality of Sarangani, Davao Occidental, and a large portion of Mindanao. The earthquake has an epicenter located 28 kilometers southwest of Sarangani, Davao Occidental, and has an estimated depth of 63 kilometers. The earthquake was likely generated by subduction along the Cotabato Trench. As of 12:00 PM PST on 23 November 2023, the DOST-PHIVOLCS Philippine Seismic Network (PSN) has recorded a total of 121 aftershocks ranging from M 1.4 to M 5.0.

The DOST-PHIVOLCS Quick Response Team (QRT) was immediately deployed a day after the earthquake to: 1) assess and map the earthquake’s geologic impacts and effects to buildings and infrastructure; 2) install a temporary aftershock monitoring network; 3) conduct intensity assessment; 4) conduct earthquake information, education and communication activities to local government units (LGUs) and residents in the affected areas; and 5) provide recommendations to the LGUs.

The majority of the structural damages were observed in the provinces of Sarangani, Davao Occidental, and South Cotabato. The damages to the built environment were primarily associated with the materials’ low strength and poor quality. Earthquake-induced landslides were also documented in the mountainous areas and steep road cuts along Sarangani and Davao Occidental provinces. Liquefaction occurred along the coasts and lowlands in Sarangani and Davao Occidental provinces. Tsunami and minor sea level disturbances such as wave oscillations were observed at the coasts surrounding the Sarangani Bay.

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