MANILA, Dec 15, (AP): A strong earthquake jolted the southern Philippines on Sunday, killing at least one person and causing a threestory building to collapse, setting off a search for people feared to have been trapped inside, officials said. The magnitude 6.9 quake struck an area about 6 km (3.7 miles) northwest of Padada town in Davao del Sur province at a depth of 30 km (18 miles), according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.
The area has been battered by a series of powerful quakes in recent months. A child was killed in a village in Davao del Sur’s Matanao town when a wall of her house tumbled down as the ground shook and hit her in the head, officials said. Davao del Sur Gov.
Douglas Cagas said a three-story building housing a grocery store collapsed in downtown Padada during the quake, trapping an unspecified number of people inside. Search and rescue efforts were underway, he told the DZMM radio network, adding that an unknown number of people were injured in his province.
Matanao Mayor Vincent Fernandez said his two-story town hall was badly damaged by the intense shaking, along with two bridges and several buildings already weakened by previous quakes. “The shaking was different this time, it wasn’t swaying. It’s like a roller was rumbling by underneath,” Fernandez told DZMM from an emergency shelter. As he was being interviewed, he paused briefl y, saying the ground was shaking again in the latest of dozens of aftershocks. (AP)