South Philippines hit by 5.9 EarthQuake

Quake hits south Philippines, 45 injured

Residents receive medical treatment outside a shopping mall after a 5.9-magnitude earthquake hit Surigao City, Surigao del Norte province on the southern island of Mindanao on March 16, 2012.

Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:31AM GMT

An earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale has hit the southern Philippines, injuring 45 people and causing panic among shoppers at mall, who rushed for the exits in a stampede.

The Philippine civil defense office said on Saturday that the tremor struck on Friday and occurred off the southern island of Dinagat — located 718 kilometers (445 miles) southeast of Manila.

The quake shook nearby areas but caused no major damage or deaths.

“Most of them were injured during the stampede at Gaisano Mall. They panicked and they all ran during the quake,” said Wilmer Fabella, the administrative officer of the Philippine civil defense office.

He added that most of the injured only suffered minor abrasions and wounds but at least five had more serious injuries and had to be hospitalized.

The Philippines sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, which is an area with intense seismic and volcanic activity caused by friction between shifting tectonic plates.

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