By Jhon Aldrin Casinas
Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade has ordered the assessment of the structural integrity of all major transportation hubs in Eastern Visayas following the strong earthquake that jolted Eastern Samar Tuesday afternoon.
In a statement to reporters, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said that Tugade has directed transport officials to inspect airports, land terminals and seaports after a 6.5 magnitude tremor hit the eastern part of the country around 1:37 p.m.
“Secretary Tugade directed transport officials to prioritize the safety of commuters waiting in transportation hubs, as well as thoroughly vet the integrity of facilities before resuming operations,” the DOTr said in a statement.
According to the transport department, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has said in its initial report that no one was injured as well as no damages were reported on the structures of the airports located in the cities of Ormoc, Borongan, Maasin, and Catbalogan; and in the towns of Guiuan and Hilongos.
Meanwhile, minor cracks were seen on the ceilings of the arrival and check-in areas of the passenger terminal building (PTB) of Tacloban Airport in Leyte Island, while passengers and airport personnel “are safe and unhurt,” the DOTr said.
Moreover, the quake did not inflict any damage on the airport’s runway, control tower, power plant, fire station, and other facilities.
“Passengers in this gateway have now returned to the PTB, and are awaiting their flights,” the DOTr said.