Local officials have confirmed at least five deaths as of the afternoon (local time) of Thursday, October 31, following a 6.5-magnitude earthquake that hit near approximately 9 km (6 mi) east of Kisante (Cotabato) earlier in the day. Fatalities were reported in multiple parts of Cotabato province including in Batasan, Makilala, and Arakan. Several people have also been wounded by falling debris. In Kidapawan City, portions of Eva’s Hotel collapsed, causing officials to evacuate the building and a neighboring hotel. The area around the hotels have been cordoned off as a precaution. Rescue operations are also ongoing at the Ecoland 4000 condominium in Davao City after the first two floors collapsed. Casualty counts may rise in the coming hours as damage assessments are completed.
Aftershocks or further earthquakes are possible in the coming hours and days.
The region has experience two previous deadly earthquakes in recent days. A 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck about 25 km (15 mi) northeast of Tulunan on Tuesday, October 29, killing at least eight people. On October 16, a 6.3-magnitude quake killed at least seven people and damaged more than 7000 structures.
Individuals in the affected area are advised to monitor the situation and prepare for potential aftershocks.
In the event of aftershocks, individuals are advised to protect themselves as much as possible from falling debris if indoors (e.g. under a table), move away from the windows, and not attempt to leave a building unless there is an immediate danger. If outdoors, move away from tall buildings, utility wires, and streetlights.
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