Powerful aftershocks continue to rattle parts of Philippines after magnitude 7.6 earthquake kills 3

A pregnant woman was killed in Davao del Norte province after a wall collapsed in her home when she and her family were evacuating to safety in the city of Tagum.

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A powerful 7.6 magnitude earthquake has claimed the lives of at least three people in the southern Philippines as aftershocks are forcing residents to remain sheltered. 

According to Reuters, disaster officials have reported at least three deaths since the initial quake on Saturday. Among the deaths was a pregnant woman killed when a wall collapsed as she and her family attempted to flee her home in Tagum.

Local officials said nearly 48,000 people have been affected by the earthquake and the subsequent aftershocks, mostly in Hinatuan. 

The deadly quake struck at 10:37 p.m. local time Saturday night (9:37 a.m. EST), according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), near the province of Surigao del Sur in Mindanao, the second-largest island of the Philippines. The quake occurred at a depth of just over 20 miles.

Disaster officials reported only minor damage to some infrastructure in the region.

Hinatuan Mayor Shem Garay told local radio station DZBB that the aftershocks have reached magnitudes 6.8 and 6.5. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has recorded more than a thousand seismic events since Saturday. 

A Tsunami Warning was issued for the Philippines by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS). PHIVOLCS advised people living in the provinces of Surigao Del Sur and Davao Oriental to immediately evacuate to higher ground or move farther inland. 


As of early Sunday morning local time, the tsunami threat had passed, according to both PHIVOLCS and NOAA's Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC).

The tsunami threat originally extended beyond Mindanao. The PTWC said hazardous tsunami waves caused by the earthquake were possible within about 620 miles of the epicenter.

Those within this threatened region included the central and northern Philippines, along with Indonesia and Malaysia to the Philippines’ south. Palau, located east of the Philippines, was also under the tsunami threat. 

Officials feared wave heights could reach 3-9 feet along parts of the Philippines and 1-3 feet in Pulau.


The Philippines is a seismologically active country. Located along the Ring of Fire, the Philippines is caught between two major fault lines and thus experiences high levels of seismic and volcanic activity, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development.