Philippines: A magnitude 6,4 earthquake shakes the island of Mindanao

One child dead, 20 injured


A magnitude 6,4 earthquake shook the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines today, killing one child, injuring at least 20 people, collapsing buildings, power outages and causing panic among residents.

The quake, which had a depth of 14 km and a magnitude of almost 7,7 km from the city of Columbus, occurred at 19.37 local time (14.37 Cyprus time). Two aftershocks followed, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

The panicked residents were evacuated from their homes and buildings.

A large fire broke out in a shopping center in the city of General Santos shortly after the earthquake, according to local television. The flames engulfed the three floors of the building, it is not known if all the people who were there managed to evacuate in time. The child died when he was crushed by a wall of a house that collapsed in the city of Datu Panglas and died at the hospital.

Four residents of the neighboring city of Toulon were injured when at least two houses collapsed, according to local authorities. Rescue teams and local authorities have not reported any other casualties. According to a spokesman for the rescue team, 20 people were injured in the town of Magshaisai, which is close to the epicenter of the earthquake. "It is the strongest earthquake I have ever felt," Sarah Duterte, mayor of Davao, the largest city in Mindanao, and sister of President Rodrigo Duterte, told local television.

Davao is the birthplace of President Rodrigo Duterte and one of the most populous cities in the country. The Philippines is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic plates intersect due to frequent seismic and volcanic activity. Residents of the coastal areas, mainly Davao, fled their homes for fear of a tsunami, but the director of the Seismological Institute, Renato Solidum, ruled out any danger.