Powerful quake kills five in the Philippines

Debris from a partially damaged building in the city of Digos in Davao del Sur province on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao yesterday, after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck the Mindanao region on Wednesday night. The authorities said five
Debris from a partially damaged building in the city of Digos in Davao del Sur province on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao yesterday, after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck the Mindanao region on Wednesday night. The authorities said five people were killed and 53 injured, mainly in a cluster of small farming towns. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MANILA • Five people were killed and dozens injured after a powerful quake hit the southern Philippines, the authorities said yesterday.

The 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck the southern Mindanao region on Wednesday night, reducing dozens of houses to rubble.

Yesterday afternoon, the authorities said five people were killed and 53 injured, mainly in a cluster of small farming towns.

Three people were killed in landslides while another was crushed by the collapsed wall of a house. The fifth had a fatal heart attack, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.

No fatalities were reported in Mindanao's major cities. The local authorities had earlier told Agence France-Presse that three children were among the dead.

The Philippine seismology office has recorded more than 300 weaker aftershocks in the area since the big quake, but the authorities said they do not expect the toll to rise significantly.

The disaster council's spokesman, Mr Mark Timbal, told local television it had not received any reports of missing people from any of the quake-hit areas.

"People have returned home... They are OK now, unlike last night when they were terrified and slept on roads beside their homes," civil defence officer Zaldy Ortiz of Magsaysay town told AFP, adding that local school and government holidays have been announced in Magsaysay, where the landslides struck, to allow building inspectors to check structures for damage.

Power was being restored in the bigger cities, but there was substantial damage to some hospitals, government buildings, schools, churches and houses in the small towns, the council said in a report.

In General Santos City, firefighters put out a blaze that started at a shopping mall shortly after the quake.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 18, 2019, with the headline 'Powerful quake kills five in the Philippines'. Print Edition | Subscribe