Philippines hunts for survivors after earthquake levels building

At least three people were killed in the 6.9 magnitude earthquake, the fifth to hit the country's south since October.

    Search and rescue efforts continued on Monday at a three-storey building in the southern Philippines that collapsed in a powerful earthquake that killed at least three people and wounded dozens more.

    Disaster response officials said five people were believed to be trapped in the rubble of the Southern Trade Shopping Centre in Padada, a town on the island of Mindanao located about 20km (12 miles) from the epicentre of Sunday's quake.

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    Rescuers were using chainsaws and thermal imaging equipment to look for survivors but said there was little hope of finding anyone alive.

    The Bureau of Fire Protection said six people had been rescued from the building since the magnitude 6.9 earthquake.

    A six-year-old girl was killed when the wall of her house collapsed on her during the earthquake, the fifth to hit the region since October. Rescuers also recovered the bodies of two women during a night disrupted by several aftershocks.

    A further 31 people were injured, said Francis Irag, regional information officer

    Four towns and one city near the earthquake were still without power on Monday, and school was cancelled in a broad area to allow time for buildings to be inspected.

    The Davao region has been hit by several earthquakes in recent months, causing some deaths and many injuries and badly damaging houses, hotels, malls and hospitals.

    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. 

    SOURCE: News agencies