A 6.6-magnitude earthquake has struck the southern Philippines, killing at least seven people and causing buildings to collapse, officials say, more than a week after a strong quake jolted the same area.
More than 300 people were reported injured in the quake, whose epicentre was located near Tulunan town in Cotabato province, 972km south of Manila, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Siesmology (Phivolcs) said.
A father and his five-year-old child were killed in a rockslide in nearby Arakan town, said Governor Emily Lou Mendoza of Cotabato province. A one-year-old child was also rushed to hospital, she added.
A 66-year-old man died when he was struck by falling hollow blocks from a church that was being repaired in Koronadal City in South Cotabato province, said Rolly Doane Aquino, operations chief of the provincial disaster risk reduction and management office.
In Magsaysay town in Davao Del Sur province, a 15-year-old student was killed after being hit in the head by falling debris in a school in the village of Casuga, while two 33-year-old men died in a landslide in the village of Upper Bala, said Corporal Krister John Nahine, a town police spokesman.
RATTLED: At least seven people are dead and more than 200 injured after a magnitude 6.6 earthquake shook the southern Philippines.
— ABC News (@ABC) October 29, 2019
The earthquake struck at 9.04am local time on Tuesday and was felt at different intensities in almost the entire southern region of Mindanao, the Phivolcs institute said.
Power was cut off in some areas affected by the quake, while several towns reported the collapse of houses and other buildings, local disaster relief officials said.
Most local officials ordered the temporary closure of schools and government offices to allow engineers to check the safety of the buildings.
On October 16, seven people were killed and 215 hurt when a 6.3-magnitude quake struck almost the same area, with the epicentre located southwest of Makilala town in nearby North Cotobato province.
“We were terrified,” said Abi Agduma, a mother of three and resident of nearby Sultan Kudarat province. “My children were still afraid to sleep in their room because of the previous quake. Now, they won’t go inside our home.”
“We will set up a tent outside our home for now,” she told DZMM.
The Philippines is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, where about 90 per cent of the world’s earthquakes take place.