The Philippines National Disaster Agency revealed that the death toll from a powerful quake off the southern Philippines has reached nine, with the possibility of further increases.
The earthquake, measuring 6.7 magnitude, struck the Mindanao region on Friday, prompting people to flee into the streets or seek shelter under tables. The impact caused buildings to tremble and led to the collapse of a section of a shopping mall’s ceiling.
In the latest update by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, at least 15 individuals sustained injuries, and over 800 houses suffered damage or destruction.
As search operations continued over the weekend, the death toll steadily climbed as searchers discovered more bodies buried under debris or soil. While search efforts have largely concluded, the agency is still gathering information from numerous affected villages impacted by the earthquake.
“I’m hoping to God that our death toll won’t go up anymore, but we’re still waiting for the information coming from the regions,” deputy spokesman Mark Timbal told AFP.