Magnitude 6.5 Earthquake Strikes Southern Philippines

February 11, 2017

At least four people were killed and nearly 100 others were injured when an earthquake struck the southern Philippines overnight, a disaster management official said Saturday.

The earthquake, which the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology measured as a magnitude 6.7, hit late Friday northeast of the city of Surigao in the Mindanao region. Renato Solidum, the institute’s director, said the quake occurred at a depth of 11 kilometers, or about 6.8 miles, and that as many as 30 aftershocks followed over the next 10 hours.

An official with the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, Ramon Gotinga, said Saturday that four people had been killed as a result of the quake and that 90 others had been hospitalized. Mr. Gotinga retracted an earlier report in which he said that 15 people had been killed, citing confusion in the disaster zone and mistakes in counting victims.

Surigao, about 430 miles southeast of Manila, was plunged into darkness when the quake knocked out power. Some homes were destroyed, and at least one bridge was shut down after sustaining cracks, the police and emergency relief services there said.

Superintendent Anthony Maghari, the local police chief, said the quake also damaged a school building and parked vehicles. Multiple aftershocks were keeping people on edge, he added.

The local disaster management office said the quake had damaged the runway at the local airport and forced the cancellation of all flights.

One resident in the area, Carlos Conseco, told the radio station DZMM in Manila that he woke up when his bed began to shake violently.

“The cemented streets outside cracked about two feet,” Mr. Conseco told the radio station by phone from the town of Mainit, just south of Surigao. “There was electricity last night, but it was cut off later. We have no power since early today. We are on a blackout.”

There was no threat of a tsunami from the quake, the seismology institute said, adding that the quake was set off by the movement along the Philippine fault zone.

More than a thousand people flocked to the grounds of the provincial capital building in Surigao, where they spent the night. By morning, emergency crews were in the area, distributing food and other relief supplies.

In 2013, an earthquake measured at magnitude 7.2 struck the central provinces of Bohol and Cebu, killed more than 220 people and injured about 700 others.(NYT)

© 2019 Asian Mirror (pvt) Ltd