Death toll rises to 15 in Philippine earthquake, hundreds injured

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MANILA : The death toll from a powerful earthquake that rattled a southern Philippine city on Friday night has risen to at least 15, an official said on Saturday.

Surigao del Norte Governor Sol Matugas said that at least 100 residents had been injured in the magnitude-6.7 quake struck 10:03 p.m. Friday 14 km northwest of Surigao City in Surigao del Norte province.

Matugas confirmed in an earlier TV interview that four have indeed died in the quake.

The government disaster agency in Manila has yet to issue official data of damage or casualty.

Matugas said that the earthquake caused power outages in the city, destroyed the airport runway, bridges and buildings, including hotels and schools.

Already, airport authorities in Manila decided on Saturday to cancel flights going to Surigao City.

Tremors were felt in neighboring provinces such as southern Leyte, Mandate City, Butuan City, Tacloban and Cebu City, in the central Philippines.

The institute has recorded at least 89 aftershocks after Friday’s quake.

While,the U.S. Geological Survey said the quake, measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale, struck at a depth of 27 km.

Some residents posted status on Facebook, saying they experienced power outages in the city. A Surigao-based television station posted pictures of a two-storey house with collapsed walls and a car with a fallen debris on top.

“Jesus Christ! That was a strong quake,” posted another male resident of the city named Ilmen Ronzkie. He also posted pictures showing chaos of kitchen utensils such as plates, bowls, cups and saucers and the like that fell on the floor.

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