Several Catholic dioceses in the southern Philippine region of Mindanao have declared that they are safe following a 7.1-magnitude earthquake that hit the area on Thursday, January 21.
“We are fine. No major damages. Of course, many were afraid,” said Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo of Kidapawan in an interview over Radio Veritas 846.
“Many went out of their houses,” he said, adding that the temblor lasted for more than a minute.
In the Diocese of Marbel, Father Jerome Milan, social action director, said there was no reported damage to infrastructure in the area.
Bishop Raul Dael of Tandag said everyone was safe in his diocese.
A magnitude seven earthquake struck the southern Philippines, resulting in power interruption in some areas.
“It was felt extensively because it’s a major earthquake but it’s deep so it won’t be damaging to the infrastructure because it’s considerably far [from the island],” said Renato Solidum, director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.
The Philippines lies along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of faults around the Pacific Ocean where most of the world’s earthquakes occur.
It is also lashed by about 20 typhoons and tropical storms each year, making it one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries.
A magnitude 7.7 earthquake killed nearly 2,000 people in the northern Philippines in 1990.