A magnitude 6.6 earthquake shook the southern Philippines on Sunday, intensifying the prevailing anxiety in the region. The US Geological Survey reported this seismic event as one among the series of potent aftershocks experienced since the previous day’s more powerful quake.
The latest earthquake occurred at around 6:36 pm (1036 GMT) at a depth of 56 kilometres (35 miles), northeast of Hinatuan municipality on Mindanao island.
This is the same area where residents had sought higher ground following a magnitude 7.6 quake the night before.
The aftershock prompted a rush of people out of their homes, fuelled by vivid memories of the prior night’s seismic activity, reported AFP.
At least two people lost their lives, and several sustained injuries in the earlier earthquake. The recent aftershock reignites fear and panic, compelling authorities to assess potential damage and casualties.
Police are actively engaged in checking for further harm and attending to the safety of the affected population.
Tsunami alerts and tremors
The previous day’s quake triggered tsunami warnings across the Pacific region, amplifying the urgency for residents along the east coast of Mindanao to evacuate.
No major damage to buildings or infrastructure is reported so far. The aftershocks, with magnitudes exceeding 6.0, continue to add to the seismic unrest, maintaining a state of heightened alert.
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The Philippines seismology institute initially warned of a “destructive tsunami,” heightening concerns of life-threatening waves.
Though the tsunami warning is eventually lifted, small swells are reported as far away as Japan’s eastern Pacific coast.
This earthquake follows a 6.7 magnitude quake in Mindanao just two weeks prior, highlighting the region’s vulnerability to frequent seismic activity.
The Philippines, situated along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” faces ongoing challenges with earthquakes, with most being imperceptible to humans.
(With inputs from agencies)