Magnitude 5.5 earthquake strikes in southern Philippines, 25 injured

July 15, 2019 - 9:09 AM
earthquake in Mindanao
The 5.8-magnitude quake struck the northeast coast of Mindanao island at 4:42 am ( photo)

An earthquake of 5.5 magnitude struck northern Mindanao in the south of the Philippines early on Saturday, injuring 25 people and causing damage to several houses, buildings and infrastructure, Philippine authorities said.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the quake, which was initially reported as being of 5.8 magnitude by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), occurred at 4:42 a.m. local time and its epicenter was situated in Carrascal, in the Surigao Del Sur area.

There was no tsunami warning from the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center immediately after the quake.

Philippine disaster officials said 25 people suffered minor injuries and were treated at a hospital in the town of Madrid.

The tremor caused the ceiling of a church to collapse and it slightly damaged several houses, a government building and a public market, according to disaster officials. Cracks also appeared on a bridge but it remained passable.

The Philippines is prone to natural disasters arising from its location on the seismically active Pacific “Ring of Fire”, a horseshoe-shaped band of volcanoes and fault lines that circles the edges of the Pacific Ocean.

It is also hit by an average of 20 typhoons a year, bringing heavy rains that trigger deadly landslides. —Reporting by Karen Lema and Gary Crosse Editing by Daniel Wallis/Mark Heinrich