An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.6 hit the southern Philippines on Sunday, the US Geological Survey said, one of a number of strong aftershocks after a magnitude 7.6 quake a day earlier.
The latest quake hit at about 6:36 pm local time (1036 GMT) today northeast of Bislig on Mindanao island.
At least one person was killed in the earlier magnitude 7.6 quake late on Saturday night, which struck at a depth of 20 miles about 13 miles northeast of Hinatuan, the United States Geological Survey said.
The 45,000 residents in the municipality have been ordered to leave their homes and many were going on foot or in vehicles to higher ground, a local police official said – as photos show crowds gathered in evacuation centres.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said it expected tsunami waves to hit the southern Philippines and parts of Indonesia, Palau and Malaysia following the 7.6 magnitude quake on Saturday, but later dropped its tsunami warning.
A pregnant woman died when she was hit by a 15ft concrete wall that collapsed as the ground shook and prompted her to flee her home in Tagum city in Davao del Norte province, the city’s disaster-mitigation chief, Shieldon Isidoro, said, adding that her husband and daughter were injured, but have apparently survived.
The latest quake hit at about 6:36 pm local time (1036 GMT) today northeast of Bislig on Mindanao island
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said it expected tsunami waves to hit the southern Philippines and parts of Indonesia, Palau and Malaysia following the quake on Saturday, but later dropped its tsunami warning
A pregnant woman died when she was hit by a 15ft concrete wall that collapsed as the ground shook and prompted her to flee her home in Tagum city in Davao del Norte province
Two other children and their parents jumped from a second-floor window in panic as their house in the same city swayed, but were not injured after landing on a patch of grass, added Mr Isidoro, who revealed he was at home when Saturday’s quake struck.
He said: ‘Initially the swaying was weak. Then it quickly became stronger and I could hardly stand. My perfume bottles fell off a table, pictures on my wall swung and I heard people screaming outside “Get out, get out, earthquake, earthquake!”‘
While he feared the roof of his house would collapse on him, Mr Isidoro said he was more worried that there could be many casualties in Tagum, a city of about 300,000 people, where he had led regular earthquake drills that he thought helped prevent more deaths and injuries.
Hundreds of patients were evacuated from a hospital in Tagum but were later escorted back after an inspection showed no major damage to the building, officials said.
Thousands of residents stayed outside their homes for hours in many towns due to the earthquake and tsunami scare, including in some that were drenched by an overnight downpour, officials said.
Shocking footage showed explosions as the quake hit the island on Saturday
Felt hundreds of miles away, the tremor prompted tsunami warnings in the southern Philippines, Japan, parts of Indonesia , Palau and Malaysia
Defence Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr told a news conference that authorities were assessing the quake’s impact but initial reports indicated there was no major damage except to two bridges, and pockets of power cuts. One death was reported with a few injuries, he said.
Teresito Bacolcol, head of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, said shortly after the quake hit that his agency had advised residents along the coast of Surigao del Sur and Davao Oriental provinces, which were near the epicentre of the undersea quake, to immediately evacuate to higher ground or move further inland.
Pictures posted on the Facebook account of Hinatuan town in Surigao del Sur province show residents fleeing to higher ground on foot or in cars, trucks, motorcycles and tricycle taxis overnight.
There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage but Hinatuan police Sergeant Joseph Lambo said the quake was ‘very strong’. Pictured: People gather in the aftermath of an earthquake in Hinatuan
LEFT: Footage shared online showed the moment the quake was felt in Davao City, sending locals running for cover from a bar. RIGHT: Elsewhere, water poured from the roof of a car park as it thrashed the region
Many villagers who fled to evacuation centres returned to their homes on Sunday, officials said.
After undertaking inspections, civil aviation officials said there was no major damage in several airports in the south and there was no disruption to flight operations.
The Philippines, one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries, is often hit by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions due to its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of seismic faults around the ocean.
The archipelago is also lashed by about 20 typhoons and storms each year.
In Japan, authorities issued evacuation orders late on Saturday in various parts of Okinawa, including for the entire coastal area, affecting thousands of people.
More to follow.