- At least 18 killed and injured from the earthquake
- Strong tremors were felt in offices, shopping centers and airports
- The Philippines is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, which is prone to earthquakes
MANILA (Reuters) – A 6.7-magnitude earthquake struck the southern Philippines on Friday, killing one person, injuring dozens and damaging buildings, authorities said.
The earthquake occurred off the island of Mindanao at a depth of 60 kilometers (37.3 miles), according to the German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ).
At least one person died and 18 others were injured based on an initial report, said Angel Dogadoja, a disaster response official in the coastal town of Glan near the epicenter of the quake.
Dogadoja added that the municipal office building and the town gymnasium were also damaged by the quake and electricity was cut off due to the quake.
Earthquakes are common in the Philippines, which is located on the “Ring of Fire,” a belt of volcanoes surrounding the Pacific Ocean that is prone to seismic activity.
The Philippine Seismological Agency PHIVOLCS and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said a tsunami was not expected.
Amor Mio, police chief of the nearby city of Koronadal, said there were no reports of casualties, but officials were inspecting a mall that was reported to have been damaged.
“Employees have been ordered to evacuate for their safety. According to police in the area, there has been serious damage, but we have not yet been able to confirm its extent,” Meo said by phone.
The intensity of the quake was “devastating, so we expect damage,” PHIVOLCS director Teresito Paculcol told DZRH radio.
He added that the earthquake lasted several seconds, and he advised residents to be careful in anticipation of aftershocks measuring 6.2 degrees.
Radio broadcaster Lenny Aranjo in the city of General Santos, near Galán, said the earthquake shook buildings and offices. “We saw how the walls cracked and the computers fell,” he told DZRH radio station.
Passengers at General Santos City Airport were evacuated to the runway, Michael Ricafort, an economist at RCBC Bank, said in a Facebook post.
(Reporting by Shubhendu Deshmukh in Bengaluru – Prepared by Mohammed for the Arabic Bulletin) and Neil Jerome Morales and Mikhail Flores in Manila; Edited by Kanupriya Kapoor and Andrew Cawthorne
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