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At least 3 killed in magnitude 6.5 quake that rocked Mindanao —OCD 12

At least three persons were killed following the magnitude 6.5 earthquake that struck the southern Philippine island of Mindanao on Thursday morning.

"'Yung today po, meron po tayong reported na tatlo," Maimai Balmediano, information officer of Office of Civil Defense 12, told GMA News Online in a phone interview.

Balmediano said the fatalities were from Makilala town in Cotabato.

Balmediano said the number of wounded individuals cannot be determined yet as rescue operations are still ongoing. She added that there is no information yet about missing individuals.

"Hinihintay pa namin 'yung report kasi isa pa lang 'yung narerecord na wounded kasi ongoing pa 'yung operations nila ngayon. We are waiting for the number of injured kung meron man," Balmediano said.

The quake's epicenter was in Tulunan, Cotabato, the same area where a strong tremor killed at least eight people and wounded more than 300 others on Tuesday.

Interviewed on Dobol B sa News TV, PHIVOLCS  science research specialist Erlinto Olavere said Thursday's earthquake happened at 9:11 a.m. and was tectonic in origin.

A hotel in Kidapawan City and a portion of a condominium building in Ecoland in Davao City nearly collapsed due to the quake.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has clarified that the tremor felt this morning was not an aftershock of the previous earthquakes that struck the region.

"According to our contacts in PHIVOLCS, this is a separate incident. This is not connected. It is a separate incident from the October 29 and October 16," NDRRMC spokesman Mark Timbal had said.

"What we have received here is that pinapakita nito na high ang seismic activity doon sa area, may mga faults na present sa area. They have shown activities lately," he added.

Duterte house sustains cracks

President and former Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte felt the earthquake in Davao City as he was visiting the tomb of his parents ahead of the traditional All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day holiday this weekend.

The President's residence as well as that of Senator Christopher "Bong" Go were not spared from the temblor, with cracks appearing in their respective house and apartment unit.

Malacañang said Duterte might visit quake-hit areas.

Previous quakes

The death toll from the October 29 earthquake was pegged at 8 as of Thursday, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC)

The 6.6 magnitude quake hit early on Tuesday, damaging buildings, toppling power lines and triggering landslides.

Smaller tremors rattled nervous residents throughout the day and those who were afraid to return to their homes set up tents to shelter near school yards.

The 6.6 quake was the second powerful quake to strike Mindanao in two weeks. 

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake hit Tulunan, Cotabato the following day, Wednesday, and damaged several buildings. Throughout the day, several but milded tremors were felt

Triggered by one fault

According to PHIVOLCS Earthquake Monitoring OIC Ismael Narag, the series of earthquakes –July 9, October 16, 29, and 31 —could have been triggered by one fault.

For worst case scenario, the PHIVOLCS executive said they are monitoring the Malungon fault line that can produce a magnitude-7.2  earthquake, the strongest among the active fault lines in the area. —MDM, GMA News