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One dead, four injured in powerful Mindanao quake

MANILA, Philippines — One person was killed after a magnitude 7.4 earthquake shook parts of Mindanao late Saturday, the country’s defense chief said. 

Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said in a briefing Sunday that a pregnant woman from Tagum City in Davao del Norte died after the powerful quake struck the waters off Surigao del Sur. Four others were injured. 

Around 2,600 individuals were affected by the offshore quake. 

In a statement posted on X, formerly Twitter, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the government continues to provide assistance to those affected by the earthquake. 

“The Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Department of the Interior and Local Government, in collaboration with local government units, are actively coordinating efforts to provide essential aid to those in need,” Marcos said. 

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has recorded 819 aftershocks ranging from magnitude 1.4 to 6.4 as of 1 p.m.

It said that “moderate to strong” aftershocks are expected to persist for several days to months in the epicentral center, and even be felt in nearby provinces.

Phivolcs also confirmed that the earthquake triggered tsunami events in Hinatuan and Bislig in Surigao del Sur, Dapa in Surigao del Norte, and Mati in Davao Oriental.However, it stressed that the tsunami was “not destructive.” Tsunami warnings were later lifted.

The institute advised the public to protect themselves by following the 'drop, cover, and hold' procedure in case of a strongly felt earthquake, and be cautious of structures with signs of damage.

It is recommended that residents of coastal villages monitor natural signs indicating an approaching tsunami, such as strong ground shaking, sudden and unusual changes in sea level, and unusual sounds. If any of these signs are felt, observed, or heard, individuals should promptly move to higher ground or away from the shoreline.