Channel News Asia reports: A powerful earthquake hit the southern Philippine island of Mindanao on Sunday (Dec 15), killing a child and damaging buildings in an area still recovering from a string of deadly quakes in October.
Police said a rescue operation had been launched at a heavily damaged market building near the 6.8 magnitude quake’s epicentre, which is about 90km from the major city of Davao.
Two strong aftershocks of magnitude 5 and 5.7 centred north of General Santos City were recorded after the main tremor.
Vincent Fernandez, the mayor of Matanao town in the southern Philippines, told local radio that a six-year-old girl had died after a wall collapsed on her during the quake. She added that at least 24 people had been taken to the hospital, but was not aware of any reports of deaths as search operations continued.
Three quakes above 6.0 magnitude hit roughly the same area of Mindanao in a matter of weeks in October, killing some two dozen people and heavily damaging office buildings, schools and apartments.
Tens of thousands of people were forced into shelters by the string of tremors, the government said, either because their homes were damaged or they were too afraid to return.