Advertisement

Powerful earthquake in Philippines kills 1, damages coronavirus quarantine centre

In this photo provided by the Philippine Red Cross, a toppled house is seen after a quake struck in Cataingan, Masbate province, central Philippines on Tuesday Aug. 18, 2020. A powerful and shallow earthquake struck a central Philippine region Tuesday, prompting people to dash out of homes and offices but there were no immediate reports of injuries or major damage.
In this photo provided by the Philippine Red Cross, a toppled house is seen after a quake struck in Cataingan, Masbate province, central Philippines on Tuesday Aug. 18, 2020. A powerful and shallow earthquake struck a central Philippine region Tuesday, prompting people to dash out of homes and offices but there were no immediate reports of injuries or major damage. (John Mark Lalaguna/Philippine National Red Cross via AP)

A magnitude 6.6 earthquake struck the Philippines on Tuesday, killing at least one person and damaging roads and buildings including a hospital and a sports complex being used as a novel coronavirus quarantine centre.

It was the strongest earthquake in eight months in the Philippines, which lies on the “Ring of Fire,” a seismically active belt of volcanoes circling the Pacific Ocean.

Read more: Strong earthquake off Papua New Guinea prompts brief tsunami threat

“My things at home fell down and my neighbours’ walls cracked and some collapsed,” Rodrigo Gonhuran, 30, told Reuters from the central town of Cataingan, which has a population of more than 50,000 people and is near the epicentre.

One man, a retired police colonel, was killed when his three-storey house collapsed, while four people suffered minor injuries, provincial administrator Rino Revalo told DZMM radio station.

Story continues below advertisement

Patients were moved out of a hospital into tents because of cracks in the building, Revalo said.

Click to play video 'Magnitude 7.4 earthquake in Mexico sends people fleeing into the streets' Magnitude 7.4 earthquake in Mexico sends people fleeing into the streets
Magnitude 7.4 earthquake in Mexico sends people fleeing into the streets – Jun 23, 2020

Engineers were checking a damaged sports complex to see if it was safe to accommodate people staying there in quarantine after moving back from the capital, Manila, he said.

People returning to their homes in the provinces from the capital have to spend time in quarantine.

The Philippines, which has a population of 107 million, has the most coronavirus cases in Southeast Asia with more than 164,000 confirmed infections and 2,681 deaths.

The quake struck at sea at a depth of 30 km (18.64 miles), the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre said.

Read more: Tsunami warning ended for southern Alaska after magnitude 7.8 earthquake

Story continues below advertisement

The Philippine seismology agency said there was no risk of a tsunami but warned of aftershocks.

The Philippines lies in the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of faults around the Pacific Ocean where most of the world’s earthquakes occur. It’s also lashed by about 20 typhoons and storms each year, making it one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries.

A magnitude 7.7 quake killed nearly 2,000 people in the northern Philippines in 1990.

(Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru and Neil Jerome Morales in Manila Editing by Ed Davies, Robert Birsel)

—With files from the Associated Press