Earthquake today: Powerful tremor shakes southern Philippines, causing ceilings to fall at malls

MANILA, Philippines: A powerful undersea earthquake shook the southern Philippines on Friday, causing ceilings in shopping malls to plunge to the ground as shoppers screamed. No tsunami warning was in effect.

The Office of Civil Defense said it was investigating a report of one death.

Gregorio Narajos, 34, was getting ready to eat at the SM City General Santos mall when the quake hit Friday afternoon.

“We went under the table, we can’t do any thing else,” he told The Associated Press. “People started running downstairs. We were scared because there might be a stampede, then the lights when off, the earthquake was so strong. People were screaming and shouting, ‘Oh my God!’ We just started praying.”

The magnitude 6.7 quake was located 26 kilometers (16 miles) from Burias at the southern tip of the Philippines, the United States Geological Survey said. It was centered at a depth of 78 kilometers (48 miles), it said.

Videos posted on social media showed ceilings falling at two large malls as pillars swayed and people cowered and shouted in fear. The SM City General Santos mall and Robinsons GenSan mall announced temporary closures. There were no reports of injuries there. Photos also showed a collapsed roof at a school.

The presidential palace said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. instructed government agencies to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone affected by the quake.

The Philippines experiences regular earthquakes and volcanic eruptions due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of seismic faults around the ocean.

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This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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Updated: 18 Nov 2023, 08:50 AM IST

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