By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
A strong, shallow earthquake shook the central Philippines on Thursday, leaving two people dead and injuring more than 100. Among the injured were several people in a collapsed building in the town of Kananga, the Associated Press reports.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a magnitude of 6.5 and struck at a depth of four miles (6.5 kilometers) in Leyte Province. Filipino seismologists said the quake was caused by movement of the Philippine Fault and was felt most strongly in Kananga.
Shallow earthquakes generally cause more damage on the Earth's surface, seismologists explained.
Power Outages in Kananga and Outlying Areas
The Kananga building collapse killed one person, injured more than 20 others and trapped at least six, Kananga mayor Rowena Codilla told DZMM Radio. The quake caused power outages in Kananga and outlying areas.
One person was pulled from the building alive but injured. Codilla said rescuers were digging in an effort to reach the others. “They're alive because they are communicating with our disaster people,” she said.
Codilla added that the rescuers were moving carefully to prevent the rest of the building from collapsing. The building housed a grocery store, a hardware store and a beauty parlor on the ground floor and a guesthouse on the second floor.
Thousands of Residents Flee from Homes and Offices
Thousands of residents, workers and students fled from their homes, office buildings and schools, with some people falling as the ground shook. Many residents refused to return home due to the aftershocks.
Damage and One Death in Ormoc
Mayor Richard Gomez of Ormoc city, about 17 miles (30 kilometers) from Kananga, told DZMM radio that a landslide hit a house and killed a young woman. More than 100 others were injured in the area, including many area residents who were “traumatized and hysterical,” he said.
The strong shaking caused cracks in some buildings and roads in the city. Power was automatically shut off, Gomez said.
Officials said Ormoc's airport will be closed starting Friday to allow an inspection.
Delia Vilbar, Ormoc’s town treasurer, said she was attending a meeting on the second floor of City Hall when the earthquake struck.
"It was very strong and the building was shaking," she said. When she went out to the street, she saw people crying and embracing each other, Vilbar reported.
Asked about the earthquake, President Rodrigo Duterte said he had not received any reports of major damage. Duterte was visiting southern Bukidnon Province.
The quake struck in a region previously devastated by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013. That typhoon left more than 7,300 people dead or missing, leveled entire villages and displaced more than 5 million residents.
About the Author
David E. Hubler brings a variety of government, journalism and teaching experience to his position as a Quality Assurance Editor at APUS. David’s professional background includes serving as a senior editor at CIA and the Voice of America. He has also been a managing editor for several business-to-business and business-to-government publishing companies. David has taught high school English in Connecticut and at Northern Virginia Community College. He has a master’s degree for Teachers of English from the University of New Hampshire and a B.A. in English from New York University. David’s 2015 book, “The Nats and the Grays, How Baseball in the Nation’s Capital Survived WWII and Changed the Game Forever,” was recently published in paperback by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.