At least nine people died and two were missing after a magnitude-6.8 earthquake hit the southern Philippines island of Mindanao on Friday, authorities said.
Another 15 people were injured, with more than 800 houses destroyed or damanged, according to the latest update from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. "I'm hoping to God that our death toll won't go up anymore, but we're still waiting for the information coming from the regions," deputy spokesman Mark Timbal told the news agency AFP.
More than 450 people sought medical treatment after the quake struck, while more than two dozen infrastructure facilities were damaged in several provinces. according to the disaster risk-reduction agency.
The tectonic earthquake’s epicentre was located west of Sarangani, Davao Occidental province, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. The tremor hit at 4.14pm local time and was felt in several surrounding provinces. There is no threat of a tsunami following the quake, the institute said.
A married couple were crushed to death by a collapsed concrete wall in a wood factory in General Santos City, the Manila Standard reported, citing police. Patients at a hospital in the city were evacuated, while workers in Davao City were forced to flee from their offices, according on ABS-CBN News’ Facebook posts.
Debris was strewn across the floor of a shopping mall in General Santos owned by SM Prime Holdings Inc. after the ceiling was damaged by the tremor, and a crane collapsed on a building under construction in Davao City, based on posts by state-run Radyo Pilipinas on X, the social media platform formerly called Twitter.