6 dead, over 100 hurt in magnitude-6.7 Surigao quake

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Six people were reported dead and more than 100 injured after a strong 6.7-magnitude earthquake rocked Surigao City on Friday night.

"We have 6 fatalities and we have 125 injured for this time," Senior Supt. Antony Maghari of Philippine National Police-Surigao del Norte told CNN Philippines on Saturday afternoon.

 

A state of calamity has been declared in Surigao City, Surigao del Norte Gov. Sol Matugas said.

At least 11 towns were affected by the quake, which also damaged the provincial capitol, two major bridges, and other infrastructure.

There is still no power and electricity supply in quake-affected areas, Maghari said.

The earthquake also forced the closure of Surigao City domestic airport, officials said. All flights were canceled due to a damaged runway. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said the airport might be closed until March 10.

"Ito ang pinakamatinding earthquake na na-experience namin [This is the worst earthquake we have ever experienced]," Matugas said.

The governor, however, called for calm, assuring residents that the local government is ready to extend help to affected families.

Rescue ops underway

President Rodrigo Duterte “is on top of the situation,” Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said in a Satuday press briefing after she met with officials at the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

"The DSWD Regional Office has prepositioned 8,258 family food packs to geographically hard-to-reach areas," Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement.

He also said the DSWD has a stockpile of over 14,000 family packs and over P2.8 million of fund on standby.

Relief and rescue operations are underway, officials said.

Strongest to hit Surigao

The earthquake struck 14 km. northwest of Surigao City in Surigao del Norte at 10:03 p.m. on Friday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.

Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum said the earthquake was due to the movement of the Philippine Fault Zone Surigao segment. It last movement was in 1879, causing a magnitude-7.4 quake.

He agreed Friday’s quake was the strongest to hit Surigao City in recent history.

Aftershocks are expected, Phivolcs said. The latest it reported was a magnitude-2.4 quake detected 18 km Southwest of Surigao City at 11:34 p.m. Saturday

On Friday night, Intensity 6 was felt in Surigao City, and Pintuyan, Southern Leyte.

Intensity 5 was felt in Mandaue City, San Ricardo, Limasawa and San Francisco, Southern Leyte; Intensity 4 in Hinunangan, Southern Leyte and Butuan City; Intensity 3 in Hibok-hibok, Camiguin, Tolosa and Tacloban, Leyte, Bislig City, Gingoog City, Misamis; and Intensity 2 in Cagayan de Oro City, Talocogon City, Agusan del Sur, Dumaguete City, and Cebu City.

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