The death toll from the southern Philippines killer quake and devastating tidal waves already rose to 5,000.
AERIAL VIEW OF MINDANAO COAST
VILLAGES ALONG THE COAST SWEPT BY TIDAL WAVES (2 SHOTS)
DEVASTATED COTABATO CITY
WOUNDED PEOPLE IN HOSPITAL (4 SHOTS)
VILLAGERS MOVING OUT TO SAFETY PLACES (4 SHOTS)
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Background: The death toll from the southern Philippines killer quake and devastating tidal waves already rose to 5,000.
Devastating earthquake in Mindanao recorded 7.8 on the open-ended Richter scale and strong tidal waves swept away whole villages along the southern coast, 600 miles from Manila.
Many people and their homes were washed out to sea by the three tidal waves that swept in and out within minutes of the massive earthquake just after midnight on Tuesday (Aug 17).
Mindanao, with its population of seven million, has borne the brunt of the death and destruction.
Among the worst hit towns is Cotabato city. At least 1,500 people, including members of a military unit and their families stationed there, are known to have died.
In Pagadian City, one of the worst hits areas where at least 400 people have died and several thousands have lost their homes.
Gen. Antonio Villagueva, just back from a survey of the badly stricken areas, told to reporters: "I have seen a lot of disasters and it was the tidal waves that did the most damage."