A powerful earthquake has shaken the southern province of Cotabato, setting off landslides and causing infrastructure to collapse. The quake is the second to hit the region in less than two weeks.
A 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck the southern Philippines on Tuesday, killing at least seven people, injuring more than 300, and triggering dangerous landslides, police officials said.
Experts from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the quake struck about 96 kilometers (60 miles) southwest of Davao City, the capital of Mindanao, with its epicenter in Tulunan in Cotabato Province.
"We urge [residents] to monitor developments through the alerts and bulletins of official government channels," said Salvador Panelo, a spokesman for President Rodrigo Duterte.
The earthquake comes less than two weeks after the last 6.3 magnitude quake, which struck the same region on October 16, killing seven people and injuring 215.
"This was a stronger earthquake from last time," Tulunan Mayor Reuel Limbungan told local media.
Landslides and falling debris
In the town of Arakan, a rockslide killed a man and his 5-year-old child, and a 1-year-old baby was taken to hospital emergency services, Governor Emily Lou Mendoza of Cotabato announced.
Rolly Doane Aquino, operations chief of the provincial disaster risk reduction and management office, said a 66-year-old man died after he was struck by falling pieces from a church under construction in Koronadal City in South Cotabato.
Corporal Krister John Nahine, a town police spokesman, said a 15-year-old student was killed by falling debris in a school in the village of Casuga and two 33-year-old men died in a landslide in the village of Upper Bala. In the town of Magsaysay, rescuers were trying to recover three trapped bodies after landslides in two separate towns submerged sections of agricultural areas.
mvb/msh (AP, dpa, Reuters)