Oct. 17 (UPI) — The death toll climbed to five Thursday after a strong 6.3-magnitude earthquake rocked southern Philippines, damaging buildings and threatening landslides, officials.
The temblor struck about 13 miles east of Tulunan in North Cotabato province after 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at a depth of 5 miles, the Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.
Tulunan, North Cotabato and M’lang municipalities and Kidapawan City felt the earthquake at a 7 Intensity, which the Philippines seismology institute, also known as Phivolcs, describes as “destructive” on its 10-degree scale.
Hundreds of aftershocks have rippled through the region, continuing into Thursday afternoon with some registering as high as magnitude 5.3.
At least 27 people were injured and 5 were killed by the earthquake, including a 5-year-old boy who died when his house collapsed on top of him in Magsaysay, Davao Del Sur, said Anthony Allada of the local government public information office.
A child and a woman were also found dead in the Davao Del Sur area, he said. Davao Del Sur experienced an Intensity 6, meaning “very strong,” during the temblor.
A 7-year-old girl from North Cotabato died when a wall collapsed, Mayor Reuel Limbungan said. And a man from M’lang died of a heart attack, said M’lang Vice Mayor Joselito Pinol.
The Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said 29 buildings were damaged including schools and two hospitals.
It also said all classes in the city were suspended for Thursday and building faculty were to inspect the facilities.
“If they find building defects that are dangerous and need repair, they should immediately condemn the area and not allow students to use the same,” Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said a Facebook statement.
Classes were also canceled in Diapawan City, the city said.
The Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office was also attempting to thwart false information spreading online concerning an incoming tsunami, reminding people that those spreading such warnings could face up to six months in prison.