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Several dead, scores hurt in latest Cotabato quake


At least six people died while dozens were hurt following the magnitude 6.6 earthquake that hit several areas in Mindanao on Tuesday morning, according to disaster and local officials.

Citing information from the Office of Civil Defense in Region 12, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said a man identified as Nestor Narciso, 66, was killed in Koronadal City.

Meanwhile, the North Cotabato Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) said two people Angel Anday, 22, and son Rene Boy Andy, 7, were killed in Arakan, Cotabato, according to a report by GMA's 24 Oras.  

Another child of Anday was brought to thr hospital.

"Mayroong rolling stone mula sa isang mountain then nabagsakan, natamaan po 'yung mag-ama sa farm. Bulubundukin po 'yung Arakan," Mercy Foronda, head of the North Cotabato PDRRMO, said in an interview in Super Radyo dzBB.

In Magsaysay, Davao del Sur, a 15-year-old boy perished as confirmed by the public information office.

In a separate interview on Dobol B sa News TV, Tulunan vice mayor Maureen Ann Villamor confirmed that a 23-year-old pregnant woman identified as Maricel died while she was in Barangay Banayal following the quake.

The body of the victim was sent to the Sorilla Medical & Maternity Hospital in Tulunan.

The sixth fatality was identified as Jeramie Sarno, 36, of Digos, Davao del Sur.  The information was confirmed by Digos Mayor Josef Cagas.

A woman remains missing after a landslide in Barangay Tagaytay in Magsaysay, Davao del Sur.  

The NDRRMC also said 30 individuals were injured in Kidapawan City while 13 others were wounded in M'lang North Cotabato. According to Foronda, over a hundred were injured in North Cotabato — 91 outpatients were treated while 18 others were confined at hospitals.

The NDRRMC has accounted 173 people injured in Northern Mindanao and Soccksargen.

It also said that 17 infrastructures were damaged in Soccksargen.

According to PHIVOLCS, the epicenter of the earthquake was located at 06.92°N, 125.05°E - 026 km N 73° E of Tulunan, Cotabato.

The earthquake also shook nearby provinces and cities, including Davao City, the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte and among the most populous cities in the country.

The quake was felt in the various areas as:

Intensity VII - Tulunan & Makilala, Cotabato; Kidapawan City; Malungon, Sarangani
Intensity VI - Davao City; Koronadal City; Cagayan de Oro City
Intensity V -Tampakan,Surallah and Tupi, South Cotabato; Alabel, Sarangani
Intensity IV - General Santos City; Kalilangan, Bukidnon
Intensity III - Sergio Osmeña Sr., Zamboanga del Norte; Zamboanga City; Dipolog City; Molave, Zamboanga del Norte; Talakag, Bukidnon
Intensity I- Camiguin, Mambajao

North Cotabato Governor Emily Lou Mendoza said the earthquake lasted for a minute and drove people running out of government establishments in the municipality of Carmen.

The NDRRMC said a total of 23 local government units had suspended classes as aftershocks are still being expected.

There is no report yet regarding cost of damage.

Aftershocks

In a television interview, PHIVOLCS director Renato Solidum said they are not discounting aftershocks.

"Kung ang fault ay kumilos nang malakihan, tiyak po na magkakaroon ng aftershocks," Solidum said on GMA News TV's Balitanghali.

"Dahil 'yung faults dyan ay may kakayahan na mas malaki sa [magnitude] 6.3 na pwede ipakawala, hindi po natin inaalis 'yung posibilidad na may sumunod na mas malaki," he added, while also noting that aftershocks were typically weaker in magnitude than the preceding major quake.

Malacañang said the government is assessing the damage and closely monitoring the situation.

"All responsible government agencies and local government units are currently undertaking rapid damage assessment and needs analysis of affected areas and communities in order to properly assess the situation and coordinate rescue and relief operations,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

Panelo asked citizens to remain calm but vigilant and refrain from "spreading disinformation that may cause undue alarm, panic and stress to many people."

Earthquakes are common in the Philippines, which is on the geologically active Pacific Ring of Fire.

On October 16, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck central Mindanao, killing seven people and injuring dozens.  —with Dona Magsino, Joviland Rita and Reuters/KBK/RSJ, LDF, GMA News