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Philippines earthquake: authorities report deaths from falling debris | Philippines



Philippines earthquake: authorities report deaths from falling debris | Philippines

The death toll from a strong earthquake off the southern Philippines rose to five on Saturday as authorities reported more casualties across two provinces.

The 6.7-magnitude quake that struck the Mindanao region mid-afternoon on Friday caused part of a shopping mall ceiling to collapse, triggered power cuts and sent people fleeing into the streets.

Falling debris from the mall in General Santos City crushed a woman to death, while 19 other people were treated for shock, city police captain Ari Noel Cardos said.

Police earlier reported the death of a couple pinned under a collapsing concrete wall in General Santos, where about 30 students were also treated for breathing difficulties.

Another person was killed by a falling steel structure in the municipality of Glan, in Sarangani province, said police officer Paul Mesalido.

Glan police were dispatched on Saturday to check on a reported landslide in a nearby village, Mesalido added.

In neighbouring Davao Occidental province, an elderly man was struck dead by a large rock that rolled down a hill near his house, said police officer Patrick Laurente.

The state seismology service said the quake was likely generated by the movement of the Earth’s crust along the Cotabato trench, a long, narrow depression on the seafloor that forms the boundary of one tectonic plate pushing against another.

Quakes are a frequent occurrence in the Philippines, which sits along the an arc of seismic and volcanic activity that stretches from Japan through south-east Asia and across the Pacific basin.

Most are too weak to be felt, but strong and destructive ones can come at random.

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