MANILA: A powerful magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck the southern Philippines on Friday, according to the US Geological Survey. The quake triggered widespread panic, building evacuations, and causing part of a shopping mall ceiling to collapse.
The quake, centered off Sarangani province on the main southern island of Mindanao, hit at a depth of 78 kilometers at 0814 GMT. Fortunately, no tsunami threat was issued, providing relief to the affected regions, though the temblor was felt across a broad area of the mountainous island.
Witnesses recounted scenes of chaos and fear as people rushed out of buildings seeking safety. Keeshia Leyran, attending a conference in Davao City approximately 200 kilometers from the epicenter, described it as “the strongest earthquake I have ever experienced.” She added, “People around me were panicking and running to go outside. There are hundreds of people here at the event, so I was more scared of a stampede happening, to be honest.”
Earthquake Causes Panic in Northern Philippines
Reports indicate that a shopping mall ceiling in General Santos City, less than 100 kilometers from the epicenter, partially collapsed. Emergency medical services treated around 30 students at a local high school for breathing difficulties resulting from panic.
Sarangani municipality police officer Captain Giecarrjune Villarin, who felt the quake about 30 kilometers southeast of the epicenter, described it as “really strong.” Despite the intensity, there were no immediate reports of casualties or significant damage. Some schools in Jose Abad Santos municipality in Davao Occidental province reported cracks in their buildings, but local authorities confirmed no injuries or substantial damage.