Powerful Earthquake Strikes Southern Philippine Island
A magnitude-6.6 earthquake struck the southern Philippine island of Mindanao on Tuesday, sending people fleeing from their homes in panic and causing structural damage to buildings, although there were no immediate reports of injuries.
The quake struck about 60 miles southwest of Davao City, the capital of Mindanao, according to the United States Geological Survey. Davao has 1.6 million people.
The strong temblor sent panicked residents fleeing from their homes in the city of Iligan, in northern Mindanao, according to a local radio station, Brigada News FM. Cracks appeared in the walls and ceiling of a hospital in the southern city of Kidapawan as doctors and nurses carried out an evacuation, the station reported.
Mayor Sara Duterte of Davao ordered the cancellation of all classes in public and private schools, saying the quake “may have caused structural and electrical damage to buildings and houses” in the city.
The earthquake was the second powerful quake to strike Mindanao in two weeks. A 6.3-magnitude quake struck the island on Oct. 16, killing at least five people.
“The location is almost the same as the one on Oct. 16,” said Erlinton Olavere, a research specialist at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. “There is an existing fault” in the area, he said, adding that “the movements are still ongoing.”
Because of its location on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, the Philippines is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions caused by the movement of tectonic plates. In October 2013, nearly 100 people were killed after a powerful earthquake struck the central island of Bohol.
Davao City is the power base of President Rodrigo Duterte, who was mayor there for the better part of two decades. His crackdown on crime there became the model for his aggressive antidrug drive after he became the president of the Philippines in 2016.
Source: New York Times