CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY-- Four people were killed, including an octogenarian, and 80 were injured when a strong earthquake with a reported 6.7 magnitude struck Surigao City, a coastal city, 301 kilometers east of here, Friday night.
A report monitored from here identified the fatalities as Roda T. Justina, 83, Lito Wilson, Robert Iludo, Jr., and a certain J.M. Ariar, all residents of Surigao City.
Local officials said that 80 persons suffered injuries of varying degrees, but the majority of them were sent home after undergoing treatment in various public and private hospitals in the city.
The damages to buildings, bridges, and in the city's commercial district remained unknown.
The city's airport was closed after the runway became unfit for landing and take-off due to a crack that stretches about 300 meters, the report said.
Provincial officials said that all flights had been diverted to the neighboring city of Butuan, about 124 kilometers, southwest of Surigao City while the all vessels had been advised to call at the Surigao City Port.
Capt. Joe Patrick Martinez, spokesperson of the Army's 4th Infantry Division (4ID), said that all military units with an ongoing operation in the hinterlands of Surigao Del Norte and Surigao Del Sur had been ordered to join in the relief and rescue operations in Surigao City.
Provincial Governor Sol Matugas said that the local government was still assessing the total damage in infrastructures, although four bridges has been reportedly damaged and two became impassable.
Matugas has called for assistance from the national government as people and city residents remained in shock while some of them had evacuated to the city's gymnasium as the major evacuation center.
According to the Philvocs, the earthquake was of tectonic origin, struck about 10:00 o'clock Friday night, and registered a 6.7 magnitude.
There was no report or warning of a tsunami although people living in the coastal areas had evacuated to safer grounds.
The temblor was felt in Cagayan De Oro City at Intensity III.
All telecommunication signals, electric power, and water supply reportedly suddenly went off when the earthquake struck, an official said.
The Philvocs also recorded a total of 114 aftershocks of varied magnitude from 2.0 to 3.7 as of 11:50 a.m. Saturday since the earthquake struck Friday evening. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency