Dead, Dozens Injured in Powerful Earthquake in Southern Philippines

Officials are combing through cracked buildings looking for more casualties after t he natural disaster struck late on Friday with a magnitude of 6.5.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has recorded over 100 aftershocks following the quake, including a magnitude 4.9 tremor felt in Surigao City Saturday.

People who had fled their damaged homes wrapped themselves in blankets and sacks for a second night as they slept side-by-side on the pavement Saturday, a photographer for the Agence-France Pressse at the scene said.

As per reports, the quake caused power outages in the city destroyed the airport runway, bridges and buildings, including hotels and school.

The quake struck at a depth of 27 kilometres (around 17 miles) in Mindanao, more than 700 kilometres southeast of the capital Manila, the USGS said.

Philippine authorities have begun to restore electricity and water supply to areas hit by a powerful quake in the south that killed six and damaged public infrastructure.

A Surigao-based television station posted pictures of a two-storey house with collapsed walls.

TV footage showed the facade of a number of buildings heavily cracked, their glass windows shattered with canopies and debris falling on parked cars on the street below.

Specifically, six bridges and five roads have been damaged while a total of 12 schools are reported damaged.

Rescue teams were checking for possible casualties in a village called Poknoy in the city of 140,500 people, he said.

The city's airport was temporarily closed due to cracks in the runway, aviation officials said. "The previous one occurred in the 1800s", said Martin Andanar, presidential communications chief and a native of the city.

Numerous residents in the city had fled to higher ground for fear of a possible tsunami, he said.

Provincial information officer Mary Jul Escalante was being interviewed by ABS-CBN TV network when another aftershock struck.

At the coast guard office, plates and other objects fell to the ground, he said.

  • Leroy Wright