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Death Toll Rises to Seven After Submarine Earthquake in Southern Philippines

The death toll from a powerful submarine earthquake off the southern Philippines has reached seven, with rescuers actively searching for two more individuals feared buried beneath a landslide. The 6.7-magnitude quake struck the Mindanao region on Friday afternoon, causing a shopping mall ceiling to collapse, triggering power cuts, and prompting people to flee into the streets.

The earthquake’s epicenter was located 26 kilometers (16 miles) from Burias at the southern tip of the Philippines, according to the United States Geological Survey. The depth of the earthquake was recorded at 78 kilometers (48 miles), and although it did not trigger a tsunami warning, its impact was significant.

In General Santos City, a woman was crushed to death by falling debris, and another couple lost their lives after being pinned under a collapsed concrete wall. Additionally, one person was killed by a falling steel structure in the municipality of Glan in Sarangani province. Rescue efforts are ongoing in a remote mountain village where two members of a family are feared buried beneath a landslide.

The earthquake damaged 60 houses in four provinces, along with 32 roads and bridges across the region. Approximately 450 people are receiving treatment for panic and breathing difficulties. Earthquakes are common in the Philippines, situated along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” known for intense seismic and volcanic activity.

While most earthquakes in the region are too weak to be felt by humans, Friday’s quake, likely generated by the movement of the earth’s crust along the Cotabato trench, has left a significant impact. Authorities are engaged in rescue and recovery operations, addressing damage and providing assistance to affected communities.

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