At least six people have been killed and more than a hundred injured today after an earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale struck the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines.
The quake took place at 10 pm on Friday (14.00 GMT) with its epicenter in waters 14 kilometers northeast of the city of Surigao, at the southern tip of Mindanao, according to the Philippine seismological service, which did not issue a tsunami warning.
The earthquake, whose hypocentre was located ten kilometers deep, had initially caused four deaths, at least one of them a minor, the governor of the province of Surigao del Norte, Sol Matugas, told CNN Philippines.
Later information collected by the local press raised the death count to six, after the death of two elderly, one of them by a heart attack.
Of more than a hundred injured, 68 have been admitted to the regional hospital of Caraga, in the center of Surigao, and 13 are in serious condition.
Authorities have declared the state of disaster in the city of Surigao, where numerous buildings and infrastructure have suffered heavy damage, including the provincial capital, a shopping center and two major bridges.
The emergency services carry out rescue work, without ruling out that there may be more fatalities. The earthquake has affected eleven localities in total, in which the electricity supply has been partially or completely cut off.
In addition, it has forced the cancellation of all flights at the Surigao airport, which according to estimates by local authorities could remain closed until March 10.
The Philippines sits on the so-called ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, an area with great seismic and volcanic activity that is shaken by about 7,000 tremors a year, most of them moderate.