ASSISTANCE. Senator Christopher Lawrence Go visits the victims of the 6.3 magnitude earthquake last Oct. 16 in Magsaysay, Davao del Sur on Monday (Oct. 21, 2019). Go handed out financial and relief assistance to the 1,180 directly-affected families. (PNA photo by Eldie Aguirre)

MAGSAYSAY, Davao del Sur -- Senator Christopher Lawrence 'Bong' Go personally handed over on Monday relief assistance to the families from  22 villages of this town that were badly hit by the 6.3 magnitude earthquake on October 16.

“We will shoulder all the expenses especially those treated at the hospital who were victims of the earthquake,” Go assured the residents.

Based on the official list released by the disaster response and assessment team here, a total of 359 houses were declared damaged while 821 were found to be partially damaged, affecting 1,180 families.

Magsaysay Information Officer Anthony Allada said several victims failed to report incurred damages to the authorities.

"They might not be included in this initial relief assistance but in due time the local government under Mayor Arthur Davin will take care of them," Allada said.

Alfredo Arcello, 83, a resident of Barangay Malungon in his town said he was very shocked when the earthquake caused the concrete walls of his house to collapse.

"I was viewing a television show when it happened. I immediately grabbed my little grandson outside the house, and my two children also managed to quickly get out in the midst of darkness before the wall broke down," Arcello narrated.

Allada said some residents in Barangay Malawanit and Barangay Upper Bala opted to establish makeshift bedding in the open field rather than stay inside the comfort of their homes after the earthquake.

Magsaysay and Digos City are among the most badly-affected areas by the tremor, whose epicenter was in Tulunan town, North Cotabato.

Local authorities in Digos City shut down 15 shopping malls and department stores for safety reasons.

Days after the earthquake, residents had to endure several hundreds of aftershocks that range from 2.0 to 5.1 magnitude. (PNA)