The southern Philippines has been experiencing a series of strong earthquakes, with a magnitude 6.9 tremor striking off the coast early Monday, as the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported. This event follows a series of significant seismic activities in the same region.
The latest earthquake occurred just before 4:00 am local time (2000 GMT Sunday), with an epicentre about 72 kilometres northeast of Hinatuan municipality on Mindanao Island. It had a depth of 30 kilometres (18 miles). This quake came after a magnitude 6.6 earthquake on Sunday and a powerful magnitude 7.6 quake in the same area on Saturday, initially triggering a tsunami alert.
Saturday’s quake resulted in at least two fatalities and several injuries. A series of aftershocks, some exceeding magnitudes of 6.0, continued through Sunday. Allan Luna, a disaster officer in Cagwait municipality, described Monday’s tremor as brief but strong. People rattled by the previous quakes rushed out of their homes for safety.
Casualties and Damages
The initial quake on Saturday prompted tsunami warnings across the Pacific region, leading to panic and evacuations. Residents along Mindanao’s east coast fled buildings and evacuated a hospital.
Structural damages included cracked walls and roads, collapsed homes, and a fallen roof of an outdoor court. A 30-year-old man in Bislig City and a pregnant woman in Tagum City were among the casualties. In Tandag City, two people sustained minor injuries from falling debris.
The Philippine Seismology Institute initially issued warnings of a “destructive tsunami” with potentially “life-threatening” waves after the first quake, but no tsunami occurred, and the warning was lifted.
The Philippines, part of the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” is prone to earthquakes. This region is known for its intense seismic and volcanic activity, extending from Japan through Southeast Asia and the Pacific basin. The recent earthquakes follow a 6.7 magnitude tremor that hit Mindanao two weeks ago, causing fatalities and significant damage.