In a seismic event that unfolded on Friday, southern Philippines experienced the jolt of a robust 6.7 magnitude earthquake, as reported by Reuters. The epicenter, situated off Mindanao island at a depth of 60 km (37.3 miles), triggered widespread consequences, resulting in one fatality, dozens of injuries, and substantial damage to various structures, according to local authorities.
The German Research Centre for Geosciences provided insights into the earthquake’s intensity on the Richter scale. Despite the alarming magnitude, both the Philippine seismology agency PHIVOLCS and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre offered reassurance by confirming that a tsunami was not anticipated.
Angel Dugaduga, a disaster response official in Glan, a coastal town near the epicenter, conveyed the initial impact assessment. Regrettably, one person lost their life, and 18 individuals sustained injuries in the wake of the earthquake. The municipal office and gymnasium were among the structures damaged, contributing to the disruption of daily life. Reports also indicated power outages in several areas, leaving them in darkness.
Notably, a shopping mall in the affected region reported damages, prompting the evacuation of employees for safety reasons. Amor Mio, the police chief of nearby Koronadal city, acknowledged the extensive damage reported by local law enforcement, emphasizing the challenges in definitively ascertaining the full extent.
PHIVOLCS director Teresito Bacolcol, in a statement to DZRH radio, described the quake’s intensity as “destructive,” indicating the likelihood of significant damage. This unfortunate event underscores the region’s vulnerability to seismic activity, a consequence of its location on the ‘Ring of Fire’—a belt of volcanoes encircling the Pacific Ocean, prone to earthquakes.
As the affected communities grapple with the aftermath, this seismic episode serves as a poignant reminder of the perpetual seismic risks in the region and the imperative for ongoing preparedness and mitigation measures.