A new earthquake struck the southern Philippines on Thursday, killing at least four people, two days after an earthquake that killed eight people in the same area.
This magnitude 6.5 shock, according to the US Geophysical Institute (USGS), was strongly felt in Mindanao, the big island in the south of the archipelago. The USGS said there was no risk of tsunami.
Four people were killed in Cotabato province, police said.
Like Tuesday, the earthquake occurred just as the day began in schools and businesses, and many panicked residents rushed out of the buildings.
“Everyone came out urgently,” said Reuel Limbungan, the mayor of Tulunan city, near which was still the epicenter. “He was as strong as Tuesday’s.”
The tremor severely damaged a residential building in the city of Davao, which is 45 km from the epicenter. At least nine of its occupants have been injured and relief workers are trying to determine if residents are trapped inside, the police said. A hotel partially collapsed but the building had already been evacuated.
This is the third earthquake in this same area in two weeks, taking into account that of October 16 that had killed five people.
The Philippines is on the Pacific “fire belt”, where tectonic plate collision causes frequent earthquakes and volcanic activity.
The deadliest earthquake in the archipelago since the magnitudes were measured occurred in 1976, killing thousands, up to 8,000 according to some estimates.