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Mindanao quake kills five, injures three including pregnant woman

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 17) — Five were killed and three were injured including a pregnant woman, when a magnitude 6.3 earthquake rocked North Cotabato province and parts of Mindanao Wednesday evening, local officials confirmed.

Tulunan town, North Cotabato Mayor Reuel Limbungan reported that a seven-year-old girl from Datu Paglas town died after debris hit her head when her house collapsed from the quake. She was rushed to the Birhen ng Regla Hospital in Sibsib, Tulunan but was declared dead on arrival. The center of the earthquake was recorded 22 kilometers southeast of Tulunan town.

M’lang town Vice Mayor Joselito Piñol also confirmed that a male resident of his town died of a heart attack during the earthquake. The earthquake was felt at intensity 7 in these towns including Kidapawan City. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) classifies intensity 7 as "destructive."

In Magsaysay, Davao Del Sur, a five-year-old boy also died when his house collapsed during the quake, said Anthony Allada from the Magsaysay local government public information office. Allada later reported Thursday morning that two more bodies — a child and a woman — were found. Davao Del Sur was among the provinces that felt the quake at intensity 6. Intensity 6 means "very strong" shaking according to Phivolcs.

The Kidapawan City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) said there were three people who suffered minor injuries from the city. Among them was a pregnant woman who was in danger of a miscarriage. Kidapawan City CDRRMO and Public Safety Head Psalmer Bernalte said she was rushed to the hospital to undergo a cesarean operation.

He added that there were 54 recorded cases of hypertension from the affected residents. Bernalte said all Kidapawan residents were affected by the quake but he did not provide a specific number.

A total of 226 aftershocks were noted since Wednesday’s quake, Bernalte said, but the number of weak aftershocks continues to rise as of Thursday morning. Meanwhile, Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum said there have been 250 aftershocks as of 3 a.m. Thursday.

"This is usual, within the day after the strong earthquake, we see a lot of aftershocks but we will see an increase in the number of aftershocks with time...after aftershocks can still continue after several days or even weeks," Solidum told CNN Philippines' New Day.

Kidapawan officials conducted a forced evacuation for some residents including patients from the Kidapawan Doctors Hospital and the Midway Hospital. The patients are currently staying in a gym and sports center repurposed as an evacuation area. This is the second strong quake that hit Kidapawan City this year, Bernalte noted, following a magnitude 5.6 earthquake that rocked the city in July.



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