Fire, miscarriage, death: Mindanao quake rattles residents


Posted at Oct 17 2019 08:45 AM | Updated as of Oct 17 2019 09:35 AM

Smoke billows from a mall as it catches fire shortly after a strong earthquake struck General Santos city, South Cotabato province, southern Philippines on Wednesday Oct. 16, 2019. Allan Jay Resane, AP

Residents fled to higher ground and hospital patients poured out into the streets after a 6.3-magnitude earthquake rocked parts of southern Mindanao Wednesday night.

The magnitude 6.3 tremor struck about 22 kilometers southeast of Tulunan, North Cotabato at 7:37 p.m. Wednesday, leaving at least 4 dead and 60 injured across Mindanao. 

One of the fatalities, a 7-year-old girl from Datu Paglas town in Maguindanao, was killed after a wall collapsed on her.

A pregnant woman in Kidapawan City also suffered a miscarriage as over 200 aftershocks jolted the southern city right after the quake, according to a local disaster official. 

In Magsaysay town, Davao del Sur, local officials said more than 20 people were injured while most of the houses were totally damaged by the quake. 

Authorities also evacuated residents from the mountain village of Ilomavis in Kidapawan due to rockfall. 

Fire erupted at Gaisano Mall Wednesday night, right after the temblor. 

The fire started Wednesday night in the mall's first floor, but has spread to the second and third stories as of Thursday morning. 

All mall visitors were evacuated and authorities have yet to receive reports of injuries or fatalities there, as of this posting. 

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Meanwhile, scores of residents scrambled away from the coastline of Davao province Thursday due to a false tsunami warning when the water receded during low tide. 

The quake has affected the Mount Apo geothermal power plant, causing power outages in parts of South Cotabato, North Cotabato and the entire city of Kidapawan.

Director Renato Solidum of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said residents in quake-affected areas of Mindanao should be on the lookout for landslides.

"Iyong mga matatarik na lugar, lalo na sa may Intensity 7 at 6... Sa mga aftershocks o di kaya'y may malakas na pag-ulan, baka magkaroon din ng landslide," Solidum told radio DZMM. 

The Philippines is on the geologically active Pacific Ring of Fire and experiences frequent earthquakes. With a report from Reuters