CAAP orders closure of Surigao airport due to damaged runway


Posted at Feb 11 2017 09:16 AM | Updated as of Feb 11 2017 05:48 PM

Photo: Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has suspended the operation of the Surigao City airport after Friday's powerful quake damaged their runway.

In its Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) issued on Saturday, CAAP said repair and rehabilitation of the damaged runway is estimated to last for a month.

According to CAAP Area Center XII manager, Evangeline Daba, the quake partially damaged the concrete 1700 meter runway 18/36 of the Surigao airport.

Daba added that the airport terminal, except for some broken windows and cracked tiles, sustained minimal damage.

Airport staff said the movement of the quake felt like an up and down motion, as if someone was trying to lift the runway.

They added that there may also be a need to conduct aerial survey to assess the damage.

Palexpress and Cebu Pacific operate daily flights to the said airport from Manila.

Daba said that the nearest alternate route for passengers to reach Surigao City is to take flights to and from Butuan airport which is a two hours’ drive by land.

Meanwhile, all vessels and operation at the Lipata port are diverted to the Port of Surigao due to the damage to bridges at the national highway and Sabang area, according to Port Police Froilan Caturla.

Friday's magnitude 6.7 quake damaged buildings and bridges in the city. The quake also reportedly killed six people. Several people were also injured by falling debris.

--with reports from Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News

For those affected by the Surigao earthquake you may contact the following hotlines for assistance:

PDRRMO-Surigao del Norte

CDRRMC-Surigao City