6.5-magnitude quake prompts suspension of school operations

A 6.5-magnitude earthquake originating from Jaro, Leyte hampered the daily operations of Saint Paul School of Professional Studies (SPSPS) last July 6.

The quake shook the province at around 4 p.m. and lasted for at least three minutes.

Due to its strong magnitude, the SPSPS Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council overall coordinator, Atty. Felma Freda Lopez, announced the immediate suspension of classes and preliminary examinations.

“If we continued our classes with all the students congregating inside our buildings, there might have been a danger of collapsing,” Atty. Lopez said.

The suspension was extended until July 7 to rule out aftershock hazards.

“In terms of preparedness, I think we are 80 percent prepared. In fact, last April, we conducted earthquake and fire drills,” Atty. Lopez said.

Concordio Denaya, the ground and buildings supervisor, reported no damages to the school infrastructure.

In the morning of July 10, Monday, an aftershock with 5.4-magnitude was experienced again by the school.

“Instead of simply making a drill, an actual earthquake happened. Immediately, I called for a meeting with all the professors in order to inform them on how to act if and when there will be further aftershocks,” Atty. Lopez said.

Leyte blackout

The 6.5-magnitude earthquake at worst triggered a three-week blackout in the province of Leyte.

This urged Atty. Lopez, as vice president for academic affairs, to adjust the existing class schedules to ensure the safety of the students.

“We have students with evening classes who go home to their respective municipalities, so that is why I decided to shorten the evening classes,” Atty. Lopez said.

Instead of ending at 8:30 p.m., classes were ended at 7 p.m. The 30-minute break was also temporarily omitted. (Story by Angela Deanne Entereso)

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