The earthquake last Friday, with a magnitude of 6.5 people awakened sleeping residents in the province of Surigao del Norte, sending hundreds of flee their homes.
A powerful earthquake in the south of the Philippines killed at least 15 people, wounded about 90 others, damaged buildings and an airport and stunned power, officials said Saturday.
The earthquake last Friday, with a magnitude of 6.5 people awakened sleeping residents in the province of Surigao del Norte, sending hundreds of flee their homes. The earthquake was centered about 14 km northwest of the provincial capital of Surigao to a relatively small depth of 11 km, said Renato Solidum of the Philippine Institute of Seismology and Volcanology.
Almost a hundred aftershocks were felt, officials said, adding that schools were reopened as evacuation centers for suspicious residents to return to their damaged homes.
Solidum said the earthquake was triggered by a movement in the Philippines’ fault, which is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, where earthquakes and volcanoes are common.
At least 15 people have been killed, others have been struck by falling debris and blunt objects, Ramon Gotinga, a provincial disaster response official, quoted hospital reports. At least 90 other people were injured in the town of Surigao, about 700 km southeast of Manila.
“We always do a quick assessment of needs and damage,” said Civil Defense Bureau Director Antonio Gonzales at The Associated Press by telephone.
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Several buildings and schools with low columns suffered cracks in the coastal city and a bridge collapsed in a peripheral city. The rescue teams were checking for possible losses in a village called Poknoy in the city of 140,500 people, he said.
The city airport was temporarily closed due to cracks in the runway, aviation officials said. An important port in the Lipata district was also closed as engineers controlled the stability of an access road, Gonzales said.
“The shakes were so strong that I could hardly stand up,” said Coast Guard staff Rayner Neil Elopre.
Village leaders asked residents to move into a school building on higher ground, Elopre said, briefly pausing for a slight reply while talking on the phone.
Police officer Jimmy Sarael said he, his wife and two children were kissing until the shocks had subsided. They then moved to moonlit locations outside the provincial capital complex to reach more than 1,000 nervous residents, he said.
The last major earthquake that struck Surigao, an impoverished region also dealing with a communist insurgency, was in the 1800s, Mr Solidum said. An earthquake of magnitude 7.7 killed nearly 2,000 people in the island of Luzon in 1990.