Another strong earthquake rocks Mindanao, authorities assess damage

Katrina Domingo and Aleta Nieva Nishimori, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 29 2019 12:05 PM | Updated as of Oct 29 2019 12:14 PM

MANILA -- A strong earthquake, the second in 2 weeks, rocked the same area in the southern Philippines on Tuesday, cracking buildings and forcing people to move to safer ground.

Trees and cars shook and panicked residents sought cover under office tables as the Magnitude 6.6 earthquake struck off Tulunan, North Cotabato. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

On Oct. 16, a Magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck off Tulunan, killing at least four people and spawning strong aftershocks. It can be considered as the "fore shock" or precursor to Tuesday's "main shock," due to location, Phivolcs senior researcher Erlington Olabere told ABS-CBN News.

Work and classes were suspended in some areas as authorities assessed the impact of the earthquake.

In Magsaysay town, Davao del Sur, where 3 people were killed due to the Oct. 16 quake, residents said Tuesday's temblor was stronger, said Mayor Arthur Davin.

"Hanggang ngayon, puno pa rin [kami] ng takot (We're still fearful up to now)," he told DZMM.

The municipal hall in Tulunan was destroyed, said Mayor Reuel Limbungan.

"We are receiving lots of reports of injuries, but we have to confirm them," Limbungan told AFP.

While aftershocks are expected, the earthquake is unlikely to spawn a tsunami, said Phivolcs director Renato Solidum.

It was felt the strongest, at Intensity 7, in Tulunan and Makilala, Cotabato; Kidapawan City; and Malungon, Sarangani. Intensity 6 was felt in Davao City, Koronadal City and Cagayan de Oro City; Intensity 5 in Tampakan, Surallah and Tupi, South Cotabato and Alabel, Sarangani; Intensity 4 in General Santos City and Kalilangan, Bukidnon; Intensity 3 in Sergio Osmeña Sr., Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga City, Dipolog City, Molave, Zamboanga del Norte and Talakag, Bukidnon; and Intensity 1 in Mambao, Camiguin.

Waves rippled across a swimming pool in General Santos City, about 130 kilometers away from the quake's epicenter near Tulunan town in Cotabato.

Employees of a mall in General Santos shouted in panic as hanging lamps swung with their swaying office building.

In Cagayan de Oro, a small truck loaded with concrete blocks rocked back and forth as the quake ensued. Flag poles at the University of Science and Technology Southern Philippines rattled as students were ushered out of buildings.

-- with a report from Agence France-Presse