6.3 Magnitude Earthquake Leaves Five Dead, Dozens Injured, in Philippines

  • The earthquake occurred on Wednesday at 7:37 pm local time (11:37 GMT) at a magnitude of 6.3 and a depth of 15 km. 
  • Early Thursday morning, local time another earthquake was registered, which with a calculated strength of 5.3.
  • "This is the first time in my life that I'm experiencing such an earthquake," said Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

At least five people have lost their lives, and scores others have sustained injuries following a series of earthquakes that have struck the Philippines. The 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit the southern part of the country on Wednesday night. The quake triggered landslides and caused a fire in the Gaisano shopping mall in General Santos city shortly after the quake, but shoppers and employees managed to escape without injuries, the civil defense office said.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) is a Philippine national institution dedicated to provide information on the activities of volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis, as well as other specialized information and services primarily for the protection of life and property and in support of economic, productivity, and sustainable development. It is one of the service agencies of the Department of Science and Technology.

According to records by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), the earthquake occurred on Wednesday at 7:37 pm local time (11:37 GMT) at a magnitude of 6.3 and a depth of 15 km. The quake was accompanied by strong aftershocks, and two tremors above 5.0, according to Phivolcs.

Early Thursday morning, local time another earthquake was registered, which with a calculated strength of 5.3 was hardly as severe. The Wednesday night earthquake sent people fleeing from malls and buildings. In addition, patients in a hospital were evacuated for fear of the collapse of the building.

In the town of Magsaysay in Davao el Sur, most of the homes were destroyed by the vigorous shaking of the earthquake. A two-year-old girl died when she was struck by an object while she was asleep, city information manager Anthony Allada said, adding that in another incident, a mother and her child died when their house was buried in a mudslide triggered by the earthquake.

“This is the first time in my life that I’m experiencing such an earthquake,” said Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte. Davao is President Rodrigo Duterte’s hometown and one of the most populous in the country.

The Ring of Fire (also known as the Rim of Fire or the Circum-Pacific belt) is a major area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. About 90% of the world’s earthquakes and about 81% of the world’s largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire.

In other of the affected areas, a seven-year-old girl died when a wall in her home crashed. In addition, a man was declared dead after being taken to a hospital with a heart attack that was worsened by the tremors of the earthquake. In General Santos City, a fire broke out in a mall just after the earthquake. The blaze raged three floors, but all customers and store employees escaped, according to the Civil Defense in the Philippines.

At least 27 people have been injured as a result of the earthquake. In addition, 15 buildings were damaged. A spokesman for the national emergency response told the Reuters news agency.

The Philippines is one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries, with frequent typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic activity. This is due to it’s location in which it sits along a typhoon belt and the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire. The Ring of Fire is an area that experiences a lot of seismic and volcanic activity. The area is shaken by about 7,000 tremors a year.

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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