Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Officials ease tsunami fears after quake rocks Philippines




Officials ease tsunami fears after quake rocks Philippines

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A resident walks past debris from a partially damaged building on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao on Thursday after a 6.4 earthquake struck the night before. MANMAN Dejeto/AFP

Officials ease tsunami fears after quake rocks Philippines

A child was killed in a strong 6.4-magnitude quake that hit the southern Philippines on Wednesday, a local mayor said, as houses collapsed, power was knocked out and a shopping mall burst into flames.

Residents evacuated homes and buildings across the Mindanao region including a mall that caught fire in the city of General Santos shortly after the quake struck in the evening, officials said.

The child died in a house collapse in the town of Datu Paglas, while four residents of nearby Tulunan town were injured when at least two other houses fell, Tulunan mayor Reuel Limbungan said.

“The child was crushed by a collapsed house wall” and pronounced dead in hospital, Limbungan said, adding that he had visited the medical facility and spoken to its director.

Rescue and local officials said there were no immediate reports of deaths elsewhere in Mindanao, and rescue official Anthony Allada told local television that 20 people were treated for injuries in the town of Magsaysay, near the epicentre.

Three other people were hurt in the town of M’lang, added its vice-mayor, Joselito Pinol.

The quake was 14km-deep and was followed by at least two aftershocks, according to the US Geological Survey.

“It was the most powerful earthquake I have ever experienced,” Sara Duterte, mayor of the largest Mindanao city of Davao, and daughter of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, told local television.

The Philippines is part of the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches from Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.

An elderly man was treated for injuries after being struck by a falling object during the evacuation of a Davao mall, local TV reported.

Jerome Barranco, civil defence officer for the region, said several people were also injured in the city of Kidapawan “as a result of falling debris”.

In General Santos city, television footage showed firemen battling a blaze that engulfed the three-storey Gaisano shopping mall.

It was not known if there were still people inside the building, which was evacuated as the quake struck.

The blaze was still raging more than three hours later despite the efforts of nearly 100 firemen, fire officer Redentor Batulan said.

Coastal residents of Davao fled their homes in fear of a tsunami, but rescue workers were trying to convince them to return as no warning was issued, city civil defence chief Rodrigo Bustillo told local television.

“Our volunteers are out to calm the people and tell them there is no tsunami,” Bustillo added.

Chief Philippine government seismologist Renato Solidum said there was no risk of a tsunami because the quake occurred inland, but he advised residents to check their homes for possible damage.

“We ran out of the police station, and we also let the inmates at the municipal jail out,” patrolwoman Celina Sarte said by telephone from the town of Bansalan.

She said the 10 prisoners were put in handcuffs outside moments later.

MOST VIEWED

  • Public warned of dengue risks amid rainy season

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has issued an eight-point plan to destroy mosquitoes carrying dengue fever amid the rainy season. In a four-page directive, Bun Heng warned that while the number of dengue cases has dropped sharply compared to last year, it could increase

  • Thirteen charged in UK migrant lorry tragedy

    Thirteen suspects arrested by French police over the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants in a refrigerated lorry in Britain have been charged with people trafficking, a judicial source said on Saturday. Six of the group – mainly Vietnamese and French nationals – were held on Tuesday in the

  • Cambodian Blue Helmet dies of virus

    The last rites for Cambodian Blue Helmet peacekeeper Sar Savy, who died on Friday at 63 from Covid-19 while on a mission in the Republic of Mali, will be held on Wednesday and Thursday at the UN base there. Cambodia’s National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces

  • World Bank donates $15 million in aid

    The World Bank on Friday approved $15 million for a medical training system to help Cambodia equip doctors with more skills before they start work. The budget, which was granted by the International Development Association (IDA), is intended to improve health care services. The World Bank

  • Ministry signs MoU to develop ICT training

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IT Academy STEP Cambodia (STEP) to further develop the Sisters of Code project. The project trains female students in computer programming, and enhances information and communication technology (ICT) textbooks

  • Masseuse caught planting fake bills

    Four suspects were sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Sunday for allegedly stealing money from a customer who had visited their massage parlour for a cupping session last Friday in Anlong Kgnan village, in Sen Sok district’s Khmuonh commune. District police chief Hour