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Moderate earthquake causes panic in the Philippines

March 16, 2012

When an earthquake struck the southern Philippines, people in a local mall panicked. The Washington Post reports the earthquake reached 5.9 on the Richter scale, which is moderate and typically does little damage, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

"It was very strong. You could really feel it. You could see vehicles moving," Albert Lancin, a city health official, told The Associated Press. "I could not control my body as it was moving."

When the quake hit, people flocked from a local mall, causing a stampede in which 23 people were injured. The news source reports that most of the injuries were minor cuts caused by broken glass. However, two individuals were crushed by the surge of people fleeing from the mall, and remain in the hospital for observation.

According to the AP, after the earthquake ceased, officials found small cracks in the walls of the mall and at a local gymnasium. A broken cable at the gym caused minor injuries to two students and an instructor. Local officials immediately prepared for the onset of aftershocks that typically follow earthquakes.

Those who have friends in the southern region of the country can find out if they're alright by calling the Philippines with international phone cards.


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