A 6.7-magnitude earthquake struck the Mindanao region in the southern Philippines on Friday (17), the German Geosciences Research Center (GFZ) said. There have been no reports of casualties so far, although local authorities are on alert about damage in the area.
GFZ said the earthquake occurred off the coast of Mindanao near General Santos City at a depth of 60 kilometers. The Philippine Seismological Agency PHIVOLCS and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said a tsunami was not expected.
Earthquakes are common in the Philippines, which is located on the “Ring of Fire,” a belt of volcanoes surrounding the Pacific Ocean that is prone to seismic activity.
Amor Myo, police chief in the city of Koronadal, near the epicenter, said there were no reports of casualties but that authorities were examining a mall believed to have been damaged.
“The employees were evacuated for their safety,” Meo said by phone. “According to police in the area, there was serious damage, but we have not yet been able to determine the extent of the damage.”
PHIVOLCS director Teresito Bakulkul told DZRH radio that the intensity of the quake was “devastating, so we expect (some) damage.”
He added that the earthquake lasted for several seconds, calling on residents to be careful Aftershocks of magnitude 6.2.
Radio broadcaster Lenny Aranigo from General Santos City said the quake damaged walls and toppled computers from offices. “We saw how the walls cracked and the computers fell.”
Economist Michael Ricafort said in a Facebook post that passengers at General Santos City Airport were evacuated to the runway after feeling the earthquake.
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