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7 dead in Mindanao quake

MANILA, Philippines — Seven people were killed and several others were wounded in the magnitude 6.8 earthquake that hit Sarangani, Davao Occidental on Friday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) said yesterday.

The NDRRMC said it is still verifying casualty figures available, but said three deaths were recorded in General Santos City; two in Glan, Sarangani; and one each in Jose Abad Santos, Davao Occidental; and Malapatan, Sarangani.

Meanwhile, two persons were injured in Glan, Sarangani, and two others in General Santos were reported missing.

No fewer than 30 people at shopping malls and other buildings got hurt as debris from ceilings and overhead boards fell on them during the tremor.

General Santos police Captain Ari Noel Cardos told AFP that a woman was crushed to death inside a shopping mall by falling debris, her body partly covered by fragments of concrete and steel support bars.

City police director Col. Nicomedes Olaivar, told reporters that couple Danny and Jane Ginung were pinned under a collapsing concrete wall. Both were already lifeless when police and emergency responders cleared the rubble that crushed them.

Another person was killed by a falling steel structure in Glan, police officer Paul Mesalido said. The NDRRMC reported a second death in Glan and another in the adjacent Malapatan municipality, but gave no details.

Firemen dug with shovels as they searched on Saturday for two members of a family, a mother and her child, feared buried beneath a landslide in a remote mountain village about four hours’ drive from Glan, rescuer Daniel Nocos said.

He said an excavator had been sent to help in the search, but had not yet reached the area because of bad roads and a damaged bridge.

In neighboring Davao Occidental province, an elderly man was killed by a large rock that rolled down a hill near his house, police officer Patrick Laurente said.

The quake damaged 60 houses in four provinces as well as 32 roads and bridges in the region, rescuers said.

The Department of Education said that as of 6 a.m. yesterday, at least five public schools in the Davao Region were reported to have been damaged by the quake. The agency said