Southern Philippines hit by 6.8 magnitude earthquake

Clay Curtis
December 15, 2019

In this photo provided by the Philippine Red Cross, a Christmas tree and other debris lie on the ground inside a building after a strong quake shook Digos, Davao del Sur province, southern Philippines on Sunday.

The US Geological Survey says the quake hit the city of Davao at 2:11 p.m. local time on Sunday.

Police said a rescue operation had been launched at a heavily damaged market building near the 6.8 magnitude quake's epicentre, which is about 90 kilometres (55 miles) from the major city of Davao.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no tsunami threat from the quake, based on available data.

The tremor was also experienced in the town of Matanao, Davao del Sur. Roads and buildings, including the local government office, were damaged and power was out in the town, he said.

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Patients were evacuated from hospitals as a precaution and nervous crowds massed outside shopping malls after the powerful jolt and a series of smaller, but strong aftershocks.

In Brgy. Asinan in Matanao town, a girl identified as Cherbelchen Imgador, was killed after their house collapsed during the natural disaster, the Davao del Sur Public Information Office said. Another video showed water sloshing out of a hotel swimming pool.

In northwest Padada town, Ricardo Jalad, who heads the Office of Civil Defence, said a three-story building collapsed as the ground shook and authorities were checking if people were trapped inside.

The Philippines sits on the geologically active Pacific "Ring of Fire" and experiences frequent tremors.

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