The quake struck about 40 miles north of General Santos, Mindanao. Patients were seen fleeing from a hospital and a shopping mall as the tremor struck

The quake struck about 40 miles north of General Santos, Mindanao. Patients were seen fleeing from a hospital and a shopping mall as the tremor struck
A powerful 6.4-magnitude earthquake has rattled the Philippines' second biggest island today, sending hundreds rushing out of a shopping mall and patients fleeing a hospital

The quake struck about 40 miles north of General Santos, Mindanao, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported.

Local media said an elderly man was injured after being struck by a falling object during the early evening quake.

The man received treatment after being injured, ABS-CBN television reported from the scene.



Chief Philippine government seismologist Renato Solidum advised residents to check their homes for possible damage.

He said there was no risk of a tsunami because it occurred inland, and there were no immediate reports of serious damage.

Solidum, head of the Philippines seismic agency, told ANC news channel there was a chance of aftershocks after the quake, considered strong and capable of causing severe damage.

He said: 'Aftershocks can happen. Some can be felt most likely in low intensities. But we cannot remove the possibility of similar intensities that can be felt in the epicentral area.

No destructive Pacific-wide tsunami was expected after the earthquake, initially measured at 6.7, the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported.

Max Fuentes, a resident of Davao City, told DZMM radio that he felt a strong aftershock. 'We received info from our friends that there is blackout in Digos City in Davao,' he said.

Davao City, the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte, is among the largest and most populous cities in the country.

The strong and shallow quake, which was 8.6 miles (14 kilometres) deep, was centred around 4.7 miles (7.7 kilometres) from the city of Columbio, according to the US monitor.

At around 7.37pm local time the tremor struck 28 miles (46km) southwest of the city of Davao, which has a population of more than 1.2 million.

Witnesses described how the earthquake was 'very strong, very sudden'.

A resident of Digos, 14 miles from the epicentre, wrote on the earthquake monitoring site CSEM EMSC: 'So strong, the strongest so far that I have ever felt.'

The Philippines is part of the Pacific 'Ring of Fire', an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches from Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.

Sources: Reuters, AFP