The Philippine earthquake death toll from a magnitude 6.7 earthquake has risen to seven, and authorities are actively searching for two missing individuals, as reported by local disaster officials on Saturday (Nov 18).
The Philippine earthquake occurred off Mindanao island on Friday afternoon at a depth of 60km, according to the German Research Center for Geosciences.
Social media videos depict ceilings collapsing at two large malls, with pillars swaying and people cowering and shouting in fear. Both the SM City General Santos mall and Robinsons GenSan mall have announced temporary closures. Photos also reveal a collapsed roof at a school.
Agripino Dacera, the disaster office chief of General Santos City in the province of South Cotabato, confirmed three deaths in the area. A concrete wall collapsed on a man and his wife, resulting in their death, while another woman lost her life in a shopping mall.
In Sarangani province, near the epicenter, at least two people died, and rescuers are actively searching for two missing individuals following a landslide, according to Angel Dugaduga, a disaster response official in the coastal town of Glan.
On Saturday, rescuer Daniel Nocos led firefighters in using shovels to search for the missing individuals. They reported the entrapment of a mother and her child beneath the rubble.. Authorities dispatched an excavator to aid in the search, but it had not yet reached the area due to poor road conditions and a damaged bridge.
National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council
The official National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in Manila reported a second death in Glan and another in the adjacent Malapatan municipality but provided no details.
In the province of Davao Occidental, a 78-year-old man lost his life due to being crushed by a rock, as reported by Franz Irag, a civil defense officer in the Davao region.
The state seismology service suggested that the quake likely resulted from the movement of the earth’s crust along the Cotabato trench, a long, narrow depression on the seafloor forming the boundary of one tectonic plate pushing against another.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, from the presidential palace, declared that he had directed government agencies to guarantee the safety and welfare of all those impacted by the earthquake. The Philippines, situated within the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” experiences frequent volcanic activity and earthquakes.