MANILA, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- A 6.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the southern Philippines on Friday afternoon killed at least one, the Philippines' Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said on Friday evening.
Ariel Nepomuceno, OCD's administrator, said the office is validating the death reported in Jose Abad Santos, a coastal town in Davao Occidental province.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the offshore quake, which occurred at 4:14 p.m. local time (GMT 0814), hit about 34 km northwest of Sarangani town in Davao Occidental with a depth of 72 km.
The institute said the tectonic quake will trigger aftershocks and cause damage. There is no tsunami threat.
Nepomuceno said several houses and a school in Sarangani town sustained damages.
The tremor was also felt strongly in nearby areas on Mindanao island, including General Santos City and the provinces of South Cotabato and Davao del Sur.
Local officials told a radio interview that the quake shook off items from the shelves, prompting people to rush out of houses, schools and buildings in panic. Some areas in the quake-affected region are out of power, local media reported.
The archipelagic Philippines has frequent seismic activities due to its location along the Pacific "Ring of Fire." ■