KORONADAL CITY — Residents affected by the recent strong earthquakes that struck large parts of Mindanao will get assistance from the government, the head of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office XII (DSWD FO XII) said Monday.

On Sunday morning, a magnitude 4.8 quake struck near Digos City in Davao del Sur, according to reports of the Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philvolcs) but there were no immediate damages.

An hour later, a magnitude 6.3 tectonic earthquake, with a depth of 15 km, hit Magsaysay town, also in Davao del Sur, forcing 22 families in the village of Balabag, Kidapawan City to evacuate to safer grounds.

Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD regional director, said the second earthquake caused injuries to four residents of Makilala town and another 78-year-old man in Kidapawan City, all in North Cotabato province.

Citing the latest report obtained by the agency’s social workers mobilized minutes after the earthquake, Dir. Espejo said 15 homes in M’lang town and five in Kabacan were destroyed.

“We will assist our affected people. We are working with local officials for the necessary documents needed for the distribution,” Dir. Espejo said.

Jackiya Lao, disaster risk management division chief, said the region has enough family food packs and non-food items intended for disaster response support to local government units.

It can be remembered that a series of strong tremors hit North Cotabato province more than a year ago from the latest quakes that hit last Sunday.

The Philippines sits in the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, an area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean known for seismic upheavals and volcanic eruptions. (JBM / DSWD)