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Earthquake hits Mindanao, Philippines: Rescue operations for landslide victims halted

Mindanao, Philippines, was rocked by a magnitude 5.6 earthquake, halting rescue efforts for landslide victims in Davao de Oro province.

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PHILIPPINES – On Saturday (10 Feb), Mindanao, Philippines, experienced a magnitude 5.6 earthquake, as reported by the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ). The quake, which struck at a depth of 10 km (6 miles), rattled the region, prompting immediate responses from local authorities and seismologists.

However, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) provided a different assessment, registering the earthquake as a magnitude 5.9 with a depth of 27 km (16.8 miles).

Despite the variance in measurements, both agencies emphasized the potential for aftershocks but expressed expectations of minimal damage.

The seismic event disrupted ongoing rescue operations in Maco town, located in the southern province of Davao de Oro.

Rescue teams were tirelessly searching for dozens of individuals missing following a devastating landslide earlier in the week.

The landslide, which occurred on Tuesday (6 Feb), near a gold mining site, has already claimed 28 lives, with 77 individuals still unaccounted for and 32 others injured.

Authorities had to suspend rescue efforts temporarily due to the earthquake, exacerbating the challenges of the already arduous mission. The interruption underscores the precarious nature of disaster response in the region, where natural calamities frequently occur.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) disclosed that the landslide resulted from natural causes, citing persistent rains since late January, terrain slope, fault lines, and soil composition as contributing factors.

Beverly Brebante, MGB’s chief geologist, highlighted the complexity of geological conditions in the area, shedding light on the multifaceted challenges faced by both residents and authorities in mitigating such disasters.

 

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