A powerful nighttime earthquake in the southern Philippines killed at least 15 people, injured about 90 others, damaged buildings and an airport and knocked out power, officials said Saturday, APA reports quoting Associated Press.
The late Friday quake with a magnitude of 6.5 roused residents from sleep in Surigao del Norte province, sending hundreds to flee their homes. The quake was centered about 14 kilometers (8 miles) northwest of the provincial capital of Surigao at a relatively shallow depth of 11 kilometers (6.8 miles), said Renato Solidum of the Philippine Institute of Seismology and Volcanology.
Nearly 100 aftershocks have been felt, officials said, adding that schools were being reopened as evacuation centers for residents wary of returning to their damaged homes.
Authorities confirmed the deaths of three victims after a strong earthquake rocked the southern Philippines late Friday, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.
The Army’s 30th Infantry Battalion in Surigao City confirmed the fatalities, according to local media, but additional details on how the victims were killed were not reported.
There was damages to buildings and residents ran out of their homes as the quake struck Surigao City at approximately 10 p.m. local time (1400GMT).
The quake was also felt in other cities and towns in southern and central Philippines.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the tremor hit at a depth of 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) and registered a magnitude-6.7, according to the United States Geological Survey.
The Rappler online news portal reported that April Sanchez of the country’s Civil Defense Office said seven victims were injured outside Surigao City, adding that there is an undetermined number of casualties within the city.
ABS-CBN news said the body of an 86-year-old man who was trapped under his collapsed house was found by rescuers hours after the quake toppled electricity lines that led to city-wide power outages.
Among the buildings destroyed was the Surigao State College of Technology that had its façade collapse. A bridge also was on the verge of collapse that threatened motorists who dared to cross.
Philippines is prone to earthquakes as it lies within the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire.
In 2013, 222 victims were killed and centuries-old buildings churches were destroyed in a powerful magnitude-7.2 quake that struck the central province of Bohol.