Child killed as earth­quake strikes Philip­pines is­land

Muscat Daily - - NATION -

Manila, Philip­pines -

A pow­er­ful earth­quake hit the south­ern Philip­pine is­land of Min­danao on Sun­day, killing a child and dam­ag­ing build­ings in an area still re­cov­er­ing from a string of deadly quakes in Oc­to­ber.

Po­lice said a res­cue op­er­a­tion had been launched at a heav­ily dam­aged mar­ket build­ing near the 6.8 mag­ni­tude quake’s epi­cen­tre, which is about 90km from the ma­jor city of Davao.

Pa­tients were evac­u­ated from hos­pi­tals as a pre­cau­tion and ner­vous crowds massed out­side shop­ping malls af­ter the jolt and a se­ries of smaller, but strong af­ter­shocks.

“We can no longer use our of­fice be­cause the walls cracked and the stairs col­lapsed,” lo­cal po­lice spokes­woman Lea Or­buda said. “The power is off and the wa­ter taps are dry.”

She added that at least 24 peo­ple had been taken to the hos­pi­tal, adding search op­er­a­tions con­tin­ued. An­other 13 were re­ported hurt in a neigh­bour­ing area, po­lice said. Po­lice said a child died when a struc­ture col­lapsed. Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte, who is from Davao, was caught up in the earth­quake but was un­harmed, of­fi­cials said.

“The First Lady... said the car she was rid­ing (in) was sway­ing,” spokesman Sal­vador Panelo said. “They are un­hurt.”

There was no threat of a tsunami, said the US Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey, which ini­tially re­ported the mag­ni­tude at 6.9. The Philip­pines is sit­u­ated on the Pa­cific ‘Ring of Fire’, an arc of in­tense seis­mic ac­tiv­ity that stretches from Ja­pan through South­east Asia and across the Pa­cific basin.

Three quakes above 6.0 mag­ni­tude hit roughly the same area of Min­danao in a mat­ter of weeks in Oc­to­ber, killing some two dozen peo­ple and heav­ily dam­ag­ing of­fice build­ings, schools and apart­ments.

(AFP)

A man looks at a de­stroyed house af­ter an earth­quake in Davao del Sur prov­ince on the is­land of south­ern Min­danao on Sun­day

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