Surigao City is in the Mindanao region of the country and has a population of more than 140,000 people.
CNN reported that a state of calamity has been declared by the mayor of the Surigao city. The shocks from the quake rippled across 54 "barangays" or barrios. The earth tremors crumbled a number of buildings, knocked out power and forced the closure of Surigao City domestic airport, officials said. The quake damaged many buildings, including in the two-storey Gaisano mall -- one of the city's largest structures -- and shattered windows, sending sharp shards and heavy rubble into the street.
One bridge collapsed and two others were damaged in the quake, which also cracked the city airport's runway, forcing flights to be diverted
Provincial disaster management officer Ramon Gotinga said that most of those killed had died due to falling objects. But he added that one elderly man was buried in his home when the upper floor collapsed, and despite rescue teams digging throughout the night, they were unable to recover him alive.
Notably, the Philippines is situated in the so-called Ring of Fire, an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin that is prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.Relief and rescue operations are underway, officials said.