Pregnant woman among two dead, nine missing in Philippines earthquake

A pregnant woman was among two dead after a powerful earthquake, and repeated aftershocks followed by a tsunami warning rattled the Philippines. Four people were also injured and at least nine are still missing.

Defence Secretary Gilbert Teodoro said 529 families have been affected.

The first tremor hit the Philippines’, second-largest island of Mindanao, late Saturday with a 7.6 magnitude, according to the US Geological Survey, followed by four aftershocks exceeding a magnitude of 6 on the Richter scale. The tsunami warning was later lifted by the authorities.

Whereas The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology measured the quake at 7.4, and recorded at least 600 aftershocks with magnitudes ranging from 1.4 to 6.2, BBC reported.

Wall collapsed on a woman while escaping 

The pregnant woman her husband and her daughter were hit by a 15-feet (4.5-metre) concrete wall that collapsed in their neighbourhood due to the shaking of the ground.

As they were trying to flee their house in Tagum City, the wall collapsed on them, city’s disaster-mitigation chief Shieldon Isidoro told The Associated Press, adding that her husband and daughter are getting treated for their injuries.

Two children and their parents in the neighbourhood, however, escaped after they jumped from the second-floor window in panic, said Isidoro, who was at his home when the ground started to shake. 

In Bislig City of Surigao del Sur province, a 30-year-old man died when a wall inside his house collapsed on top of him, said local disaster official Pacifica Pedraverde. 

“Initially the swaying was weak. Then it quickly became stronger and I could hardly stand. My perfume bottles fell off a table, pictures on my wall swung and I heard people screaming outside: ‘Get out, get out, earthquake, earthquake!’” Isidoro was quoted as saying.

No major infra damage so far 

A disaster official for Bilsig City told AFP that there have been no reports of major damage to buildings or infrastructure so far, but some roads in the city in the Surigao Del Sur province were cracked during the quake and the aftershocks.

The quakes triggered tsunami waves in Japan, northeast of the Philippines, generating waves of up to 0.4m (1.3ft) on some outlying islands.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said it expected tsunami waves to hit the southern Philippines and parts of Indonesia, Palau and Malaysia, but later dropped its tsunami warning.

Teodoro Jr later told a news conference that the quake’s impact is being assessed, adding that initial reports indicated there were no major damages except for two damaged bridges and pockets of power outages.

(With inputs from agencies)

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