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25 injured due to Surigao del Sur earthquake


Twenty-five people were injured and several homes, churches and other buildings damaged on Saturday when an earthquake sent terrified residents of the southern Philippines fleeing their homes before dawn, police said.

The quake, which was measured magnitude 5.8 by the US Geological Survey (magnitude 5.5 according to Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology), struck the northeast coast of Mindanao island at 4:42 a.m. (2042 GMT Friday) at a depth of 11.8 kilometers (7.3 miles), with PHIVOLCS also recording seven less intense aftershocks.

Officers at the police station in Madrid town in Surigao del Sur, near the epicenter, ducked beneath tables as the glass door of a filing cabinet splintered and a television set fell and shattered off a table, said its police chief Lieutenant Wilson Uanite.

"We saw people running out of their homes. A number of residences sustained minor damage like cracked walls," Uanite told AFP by telephone.

Patients were also evacuated at the Madrid District Hospital, which sustained cracks on its concrete walls, he added.

The roof of an old car park in Madrid collapsed, causing slight damage to the town's two fire trucks and three cars, Uanite said.

The impact was also felt in four neighboring towns, damaging homes, two Catholic churches in Carmen and Lanuza, in Surigao del Sur, a hotel, a gym, a bridge and a public market, the Office of Civil Defense in the region said in a written report.

The quake was felt at Intensity V in Carrascal, Surigao del Sur and in Butuan City; and Intensity IV in Surigao City, Tandag City, Gingoog City, and Magsaysay in Misamis Oriental; and Tandag City; and Talacogon, Agusan del Sur.

Intensity III, meanwhile, was felt in Cagwait, Surigao del Sur; as well as in Balingoan, Salay, Balingasag, Jasaan and Villanueva in Misamis Oriental; and in Cagayan de Oro City.

Intensity II was felt in Mambajao, Camiguin, as well as in Cebu City, and Borongan City. Bisig City and Cagayan de Oro City, meanwhile, felt an Intensity I.

A restaurant tipped over into a nearby river in Cantilan town, while residents reported broken plates and glass and ceramic decorative figurines in their homes, police officer Johannes Tipon told AFP by telephone.

Rescue officials listed 25 injured people across the region, including six in Madrid and a girl and her father who were struck by falling masonry that fell through a roof and into their bedroom in Cantilan.

The Philippines is part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire", an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches from quake-prone Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.

The country's most recent deadly quake occurred in April when at least 11 people were killed in a 6.3-magnitude temblor that hit a region north of Manila, causing a supermarket in Pampanga to collapse—Agence France-Presse with MDM, GMA News