A powerful earthquake has struck near the Philippine city of Davao, killing at least one person and causing several injuries. This was the latest in a series of tremors to strike the southern part of the country recently.
The magnitude 6.8 earthquake on Sunday was centred 60 kilometres (38 miles) southwest of Davao on the island of Mindanao at a depth of 30km (18 miles), the US Geological Survey said, revising it down from an earlier 6.9.
A three-storey supermarket collapsed in Padada town in Davao Del Sur province, 1,000km (621 miles) south of Manila, killing at least three people, according to Superintendent Samuel Tadeo, the Bureau of Fire Protection operations chief.
An undetermined number of people were believed trapped under the rubble and six were rescued from the collapsed building, he said.
In nearby Matanao town, a six-year-old girl was killed when she was hit by a falling concrete wall in their house, said Vincent Fernandez, the municipality’s mayor.The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no tsunami threat from the earthquake.
Anthony Allada, public information officer of Magsaysay near the epicentre, said 14 people were injured but none seriously. Roads and buildings, including the local government office, were damaged and power was out in the town, he said.
The region was shaken by four powerful quakes in October and November, which together killed at least 20 people.
“We don’t know what to do anymore. Do we respond first or attend to our families first?” Allada told DZMM radio.
President Rodrigo Duterte, who is from Davao, was in the city when the earthquake struck.
“He is ok. He and his daughter Kitty were in their house when the quake struck,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said. “First Lady Honeylet was on her way home when the ground trembled. She said her car was swaying. She is unhurt.”
WATCH | An explosion was heard at the Gaisano Mall in Bajada, Davao City after a 6.9-magnitude earthquake hit the city on Sunday afternoon. |via @Chepalicte1 , video courtesy of Kaye Lorenzo pic.twitter.com/xIto6DFSKo
— Phil News Agency (@pnagovph) December 15, 2019
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said damage and aftershocks could be expected.
Several strong aftershocks were recorded after the earthquake, the strongest a magnitude 5.7 centred north of General Santos City.
Radio DZMM reported power was out in General Santos City, where patients at a local hospital were being evacuated.
Video footage of the earthquake posted by users on Twitter showed electrical wires swaying and erupting in a shower of sparks. Another video showed water sloshing out of a hotel swimming pool.
The Philippine archipelago lies on the so-called Pacific “Ring of fire” – an arc of faults around the Pacific Ocean where most of the world’s earthquakes occur.