Philippines natural disaster kills four on Mindanao

Magnitude 6.5 Earthquake Strikes Southern Philippines

THE DAY AFTER. While Surigao City streets show few people, the damage of the 6.7-magnitude natural disaster is evident in many of its buildings. The late Friday quake with a magnitude of 6.5 roused residents from sleep in the province, sending hundreds to flee their homes.

Surigao del Norte Gov. Sol Matugas confirmed the number of casualties to CNN Philippines on Saturday.

Power is still out in quake-affected areas as of Saturday morning. Runway cracks were reported at the Surigao airport.

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The Philippines sits on the highly seismically active zone "Pacific Ring of Fire" where many continental plates on the earth's crust keep colliding.

Relief and rescue operations are underway, officials said. The quake was centered about 14 kilometers (8 miles) northwest of the provincial capital of Surigao at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles), said Renato Solidum of the Philippine Institute of Seismology and Volcanology.

A total of 28 barangays in Surigao City, Mainit, San Francisco, and Sison had been affected by the tremor.

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Sydiongco said that the airport needs immediate fix after the natural disaster that struck Surigao City at 10:04 p.m. partially damaged the concrete of the 1,700-meter runway 18/36, now unusable.

Jim Sydiongco, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) director general, on Saturday issued a notice to airmen that the Surigao airport would be shut until repairs are completed.

Matugas sought national assistance for the fix of damaged infrastructures-destroying the airport runway, provincial capitol, bridges and buildings, including hospitals, hotels and schools which are threatening safety and affecting the flow of goods to affected areas.

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She cited that PAL Express and Cebu Pacific operate daily flights to Surigao Airport from Manila.

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