Scores injured as 5.8-magnitude quake rocks southern Philippines

The Philippines is part of the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’ — an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin. (AFP file photo)
Updated 13 July 2019

Scores injured as 5.8-magnitude quake rocks southern Philippines

  • The 5.8-magnitude quake struck the northeast coast of Mindanao island early Saturday morning
  • The Philippines is part of the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’ — an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches from Japan to Southeast Asia

MANILA: Fifty-one people were injured and several homes, churches and other buildings damaged on Saturday when an earthquake sent terrified residents of the southern Philippines fleeing their homes before dawn, police said.

The 5.8-magnitude quake struck the northeast coast of Mindanao island at 4:42 A.M. (2042 GMT Friday) at a depth of 11.8 kilometers, with the Philippine seismology office also recording seven less intense aftershocks.

Officers at the police station in Madrid town, near the epicenter, ducked beneath tables as the glass door of a filing cabinet splintered and a television set fell and shattered off a table, said its police chief Lt. Wilson Uanite.

“We saw people running out of their homes. A number of residences sustained minor damage like cracked walls,” Uanite told AFP by telephone.

Patients were also evacuated at the Madrid District Hospital, which sustained cracks on its concrete walls, he added.

The roof of an old car park in Madrid collapsed, causing slight damage to the town’s two fire trucks and three cars, Uanite said.

The impact was also felt in four neighboring towns, damaging homes, two Catholic churches, a hotel, a gym, a bridge and a public market, the civil defense office in the region said in a written report.

A restaurant tipped over into a nearby river in Cantilan town, while residents reported broken plates and glass and ceramic decorative figurines in their homes, police officer Johannes Tipon told AFP by telephone.

Rescue officials listed 25 injured people across the region, including six in Madrid and a girl and her father who were struck by falling masonry that fell through a roof and into their bedroom in Cantilan.

The Philippines is part of the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches from quake-prone Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.

The country’s most recent deadly quake occurred in April when at least 11 people were killed in a 6.3-magnitude temblor that hit a region north of the capital Manila, causing a supermarket to collapse.


Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan targeted by new rape complaint

Updated 50 min 15 sec ago

Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan targeted by new rape complaint

  • A woman in her 50s accused Ramadan of raping her along with a member of his staff
  • He has been charged in France with raping two women previously

PARIS: Tariq Ramadan, a leading Islamic scholar charged in France with raping two women, has also been accused of taking part in the gang rape of a journalist, French judicial sources said Sunday.
The sources confirmed reports on Europe 1 radio and in Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper that a woman in her 50s had accused Ramadan, 56, of raping her along with a member of his staff when she went to interview the academic at a hotel in Lyon in May 2014.
The woman, who filed a criminal complaint in May 2019, also accused Ramadan of issuing “threats or acts of intimidation” aimed at dissuading her from reporting the alleged attack to the police, the judicial sources added.
Ramadan, a married father of four whose grandfather founded Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, was a professor at Oxford University until he was forced to take leave when rape allegations surfaced at the height of the “Me Too” movement in late 2017.
He has denied charges he raped a disabled woman in 2009 and a feminist activist in 2012.
He was taken into custody in February 2018 and held for nine months before being granted bail.
Authorities in Switzerland are also investigating him after receiving a rape complaint in that country.
His lawyer, Emmanuel Marsigny, refused to comment Sunday on the latest allegations against him in France.
The woman behind the latest complaint told police that Ramadan and a male assistant repeatedly raped her in Ramadan’s room at the Sofitel hotel in Lyon.
She described the alleged attack as being of “untold violence” and claimed that when she threatened to report them to the police Ramadan replied: “You don’t know how powerful I am.”
She also claimed that Ramadan had contacted her via the Messenger app in January, two months after his release from jail, saying that he wanted to make her an “offer” of a “professional nature,” without giving details.