An earthquake of 6.0 magnitude struck the southern Philippines on Wednesday (February 1), according to the US Geological Service. The earthquake struck at 1044 GMT near the  Monkayo municipality in Davao de Oro province on Mindanao island. There were no immediate reports of any major damage. Speaking to the news agency AFP, Monkayo police Staff Sergeant Harvey Asayas said the quake was strong at the beginning but gradually weakened and stopped after 40 seconds. 

Asayas added that authorities were conducting patrols around to assess the damage.

In the nearby municipality of New Bataan, Police Corporal Lucita Ambrocio told the news agency that the earthquake was quick. “After 10 minutes, our colleagues went back to the building. I checked the premises and I saw a small crack in the barracks,” Ambrocio said. 

On the other hand, Maricar Melgar from the Montevista municipality said the quake was so strong she feared the building that she was in would collapse. Melgar said this was probably the strongest earthquake that she experienced.

In Tagum city, about 40 kilometres southwest of the epicentre, residents fled their houses. “We were eating when (the house) began to shake — it was strong. We ran outside — we had to take safety measures. We did not see any damage inside the house when we got back,” Grace Jao told the news agency. 

The Philippines witnesses earthquakes daily as the country sits along the Pacific “Ring of Fire.”

Previously, the Philippines was rocked by a 6.4-magnitude earthquake in Dolores in Abra province in October last year, injuring several people, cutting power to most of the region and damaging buildings. The earthquake occurred at a depth of 15.2 kilometres (9.4 miles). Its impact was felt as far away as the capital Manila, more than 330 kilometres to the south.

In July 2022, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake in mountainous Abra last July triggered landslides and ground fissures, killing 11 people and injuring hundreds.

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