Saturday, February 11, 2017

Earthquake In The Philippines: Four Deaths, Many Destructions

Rescuers were on Saturday looking for survivors after a 6.5-magnitude earthquake that resulted in at least four deaths, dozens of wounded and widespread destruction in the southern Philippines.

The residents of the coastal town of Surigao, on Mindanao Island, spent the night afraid of aftershocks after the main shock on Friday night when many people were sleeping.

Mindanao is located about 700 kilometers southeast of Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
The 6.5-magnitude earthquake occurred 27 kilometers deep, according to USGS. Its epicenter was at sea, 14 kilometers north of Surigao, said the Philippine Office of Seismology. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue an alert.

The governor of Surigao province, Sol Matugas, told Radio DZMM that at least four people had been killed, including a young child.

"A person was buried alive in his house," he said. Three others were killed by the fall of objects or debris.
In addition, at least 75 people were injured, 14 of whom were in serious condition, civil defense officials said.

The head of civil defense for the region, Rosauro Armel Gonzales, told AFP that several houses had collapsed and that rescue teams had been sent to the disaster areas.

Electricity in and around Surigao was cut off by the earthquake and was only partially restored.

Many buildings in the city of Surigao have been affected.

A bridge collapsed and two others were damaged, and the runway at Surigao airport was cracked, which led to the diversion of flights, the civil defense said.

"I thought it was the end of the world," said an inhabitant, Carlos Conseca, on the ABS-CBN television channel. "The street lining was ripped open."

A university professor, Rocks Tumadag, told AFP that replicas continued to shake the island hours after the earthquake.

"It was panic in the streets," he said, adding that many buildings had been damaged and debris was strewn across the streets.

"I was asleep when the earthquake occurred. There was 10 to 15 seconds of vertical movement," he said, explaining that he was able to leave his home with his wife and two daughters.
Terrified, thousands of inhabitants of Surigao, a coastal town of 152,000 inhabitants, fled to the heights of the interior for fear of a tsunami. Others spent the night in car parks or outdoors.

The Philippines is located on the Pacific "belt of fire", a zone where tectonic plates meet, resulting in frequent seismic and volcanic activity.

The latest deadly earthquake, of magnitude 7.1, killed 220 people in October 2013 in the central Philippine islands.

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