2nd LD Writethru: 5 killed in 6.5-magnitude earthquake in southern Philippines

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MANILA, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- Five people were killed in the 6.5-magnitude earthquake which struck Tulunan town in Cotabato Province in southern Philippines on Thursday morning, a provincial disaster office report said.

More injuries were reported but no figures have been given yet.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the powerful tremor, which struck at 9:11 a.m. local time hit at a depth of 6 km, about 28 km northeast of Tulunan in central Mindanao region.

Tulunan was also the epicenter of a 6.6-magnitude tremor that struck Cotabato province on Oct. 29.

According to the report, the dead were all residents of Makilala town. Two died from falling debris and two died in a landslide, the report added. It did not say how the fifth person died.

The institute said that Thursday's quake triggered an intensity 7 strong shaking in Tulunan town, Kidapawan City and Bansalan town in Davao del Sur.

It was also strongly felt in Matanao town in Davao del Sur; in the towns of Malungon, Kiamba and Alabel in Sarangani Province, General Santos City, Gingoog City and Cagayan de Oro City, the institute added.

Thursday's quake cracked the walls of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's house in Davao City, Duterte's long-time aide Senator Christopher Go said. He added that Duterte is safe and is resting at his home.

Local officials said the quake also damaged a condominium in Davao City, a hotel in Kidapawan City and a mall in Koronadal City.

A series of strong earthquakes jolted Cotabato Province and nearby central Mindanao provinces this month, triggering landslides and causing damage to houses and buildings.

The powerful quake that jolted Cotabato on Thursday morning is the second strongest in a week.

On Oct. 29, a 6.6-magnitude earthquake rattled Cotabato Province, killing eight people and injuring nearly 400 people.

On Oct. 16, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit Cotabato Province, killing seven people and injured 215 others.

Phivolcs warned on Wednesday after the 6.6-magnitude quake that small- to moderate-magnitude earthquakes are expected to continue to occur in the epicentral area for several days to weeks, some of which may be felt.

"Although the occurrence of another earthquake higher than 6.6-magnitude cannot be discounted, the possibility of it coming from the same source area is low," the institute added.

Landslides, rock falls, and other types of mass movements may occur on mountainous or hilly areas, Phivolcs said.

The Philippines has frequent seismic activity due to its location along the Pacific Ring of Fire, registering quakes everyday, though most are not felt.

Phivolcs records an average of 20 earthquakes a day and 100 to 150 earthquakes are felt per year. Enditem

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