The Intensity 7, magnitude 6.6 earthquake that hit several towns in Mindanao have swayed buildings and killed at least seven people.
It cracked concrete walls, sent patients of the hospitals, and made office workers and students to run into open spaces for safety.
The quake struck around 9:04 A.M. about 25 kilometers southeast of Tulunan town, where the first Intensity 7 earthquake happened two weeks ago, in Cotabato province, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).
“The possibility that the earthquakes were generated by the same fault exists and needs to be verified,” said the PHIVOLCS director Renato Solidum.
He added the area was a seismic zone which has several nearby faults.
The second temblor was centered close to the first one with relatively shallow depth of 7 km, that killed another five people.
Tremor experts said the more shallow an earthquake is, the more it is felt on the surface. Hence the more it can be damaging.
7 people died due to Mindanao earthquake
The reports from civil defense offices and the police, the tremblor killed two students from Magsaysay town, Davao del Sur, namely Jessie Riel Parba and Benita Saban.
Also, pregnant woman named Marichel Morla from Barangay Banayal died because of a falling beam of a house that she was just visiting hit her.
Another 22-year-old individual from Arakan town in Cotabato named Angel Andy and his 7-year-old son Reneboy died because of the loosened rocks that rolled over them.
Nestor Narciso, 66, a retired ambulance driver from Koronadal City died when the unfinished second floor of a church, where he was a volunteer worker, collapsed on top of him.
Jeremy Sarno, 36, from Digos City, however, suffered a heart attack while evacuating to safer grounds.
Meanwhile, some students were injured in a stampede to escape from their school building.
According to Magsaysay police spokesperson Police Cpl. Krister John Nahine, about 300 people were injured in five villages which got the worst hit in the town—Upper Bala, Maibo, Balnate, Tagaytay, and Kasuga.
Patients, who are even still connected to intravenous drips, were also wheeled out of hospitals as the quake struck.
“Buildings were not just moving, they were swaying,” Gadi Sorilla, a doctor at a hospital in Tulanan, told AFP.
AFP added that the shaking lasted up to a minute in some areas. It had damaged homes, multistory building, and classrooms.
Rescue teams, however, have been dispersed to assess the damage to the region. Electricity and phone services were also knocked out by the power of the tremor.
Aftershocks were causing anxiety among people. They would not want to go back inside the buildings because of fear of being trapped in a collapsing building if ever another strong quake happens.
As per reports, as of 1 p.m. yesterday, more than 80 aftershocks had been recorded, including the magnitude 6.1 tremor that rocked Tulunan again around an hour and a half after the main earthquake.
According to PHIVOLCS, Tulunan and Makilala towns in Cotabato, Kidapawan City and Malungon in Sarangani experienced the Intensity 7. While, Intensity 6 was felt in the cities of Davao, Koronadal, and Cagayan de Oro.
Some towns in the provinces of South Cotabato, Bukidnon, Zamboanga del Norte, and Camiguin Island also felt the shake.
School around the premises were closed for safety precautions.
“We still have 570 individuals in evacuation centers (from the previous quake) and with this quake, we are expecting more evacuees,” said Zaldy Ortiz, an officer with a local emergency rescue team.
Catholic church leaders, in the meantime, called the nation to pray for and help those affected by the natural disaster.
“Please pray to the Lord that we may remain calm and alert, and pray also that we will continue to care and be watchful and concerned for each other during this time of fear and anxiety,” president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, said in a letter to the dioceses.