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Death toll rises to 3 from Philippines earthquake

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Death toll rises to 3 from Philippines earthquake
People are seen receiving medical assistance outside Kidapawan Doctors Hospital in Kidapawan City, after an earthquake, in Kidapawan City, Philippines October 16, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media. Sraprap Rafael/via REUTERS   -   Copyright  RAPRAP RAFAEL(Reuters)
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By Neil Jerome Morales and Peter Blaza

MANILA (Reuters) – At least three people were killed and dozens injured when a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck the southern Philippines late on Wednesday, authorities said on Thursday.

The earthquake knocked out power and communications and opened cracks in buildings in central Mindanao.

Two people were killed and 18 injured in a landslide in Magsaysay town in Davao del Sur province, national disaster agency spokesman Mark Timbal said.

A seven-year-old girl was killed when a wall in her house collapsed, said Reuel Limbungan, mayor of Tulunan town in North Cotabato province.

The disaster agency said 27 people were injured and 15 buildings damaged, including shopping malls, schools and town halls.

The earthquake also shook Davao City, the home town of President Rodrigo Duterte and among the most populous cities in the country.

The quake struck 69 km (43 miles) north-northwest of the city of General Santos, Mindanao at 7:37 p.m. (1137 GMT), the United States Geological Survey said. The epicentre was about 80 km southwest of central Davao.

“We felt a very strong jolt and there was a blackout. I saw people rushing down. We were panicking, heading to the exit,” said Naru Guarda Cabaddu, a hotel consultant visiting Kidapawan City between the epicentre of the quake and Davao.

The Philippines is on the geologically active Pacific Ring of Fire and experiences frequent earthquakes.

“I was driving back home when I felt a very powerful shake. I stopped and saw people and patients running out of the hospital,” Raprap Rafael, a resident of Kidapawan City, told Reuters.

A community at the foot of a mountain had to evacuate because of more than 200 aftershocks, Psalmer Bernalte, a Kidapawan city disaster official, told CNN Philippines channel.

(Editing by Matthew Tostevin; Editing by Paul Tait)

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