Philippines Struck By 6.9 Magnitude Earthquake
A 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck the Philippines on Monday morning, killing at least 13 people and leaving dozens trapped under houses and buildings.
Governor Roel Demago said that as many as 30 houses were buried with at least 40 residents in the mountain village of Planas.
“Their situation is bad because if you are covered by landslide for one hour, two hours, how can you breathe?” Mayor Ernesto Reyes said in a statement. “But we just hope for the best, that there are still survivors.”
He said at least 10 people were confirmed dead in Guihulngan, including students at a college and an elementary school.
The earthquake triggered a landslide in the mountain village of Solongon in La Libertad town, as well as in Negros Oriental.
La Libertad police chief inspector Eric Arrol Besario said an unknown number of people were trapped in the landslides.
“We’re now getting shovels and chain saws to start a rescue because there were people trapped inside. Some of them were yelling for help earlier,” Besario told The Associated Press.
Philippine seismologists issued a tsunami alert for the central islands as huge waves washed out five bamboo and wooden cottages from a beach.
A three-story building in La Libertad collapsed as the 6.9 magnitude earthquake rocked the city, but the occupants escaped before any harm was caused.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake was centered 44 miles of Dumaguete city on Negros, and hit at a depth of 29 miles.
The Philippines is situated on the “Ring of Fire” in the Pacific Ocean. This name is given because of an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin, which is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.