PICS: 5 dead, over 3 000 schools closed after quake hits Philippines

Manila – Classes have been indefinitely suspended for some 1.9 million students on the Philippine island of Mindanao after a strong earthquake rattled the area this week, officials said on Friday.

The suspension of classes will allow for safety inspections of public and private schools, the Department of Education said in a statement.

An initial report said a total of 40 schools were badly damaged by the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that hit on Wednesday.

The death toll from the quake stands at five. The tremor also injured dozens and damaged houses, hospitals and other structures.

The class suspensions affect 3 873 schools in three regions Mindanao. Schools have been ordered to find building defects that are dangerous and need repair.

media reference%3A529b299ba0a44873b7553bbab35e8b40 - PICS: 5 dead, over 3 000 schools closed after quake hits Philippines
Damaged walls are seen on a building a day after a strong quake struck in Digos, Davao del Sur province, southern Philippines. A powerful and shallow earthquake hit several southern Philippine provinces Wednesday night injuring some people in collapsed houses and prompting thousands to scramble out of homes, shopping malls and a hospital in a panic, officials and news reports said. Picture: AP
media reference%3A6fde4a4e23844d10bc9566e8e33976a2 - PICS: 5 dead, over 3 000 schools closed after quake hits Philippines
Men look at damages on a building a day after a strong quake struck in Digos, Davao del Sur province, southern Philippines. Picture: AP
media reference%3A7a9b6070b880407b963105beb1e8ef4f - PICS: 5 dead, over 3 000 schools closed after quake hits Philippines
Debris is scattered on the floor of a damaged building in Digos, Davao del Sur province, southern Philippines. Picture: Romell Bacongco/AP

Mindanao is the third largest island group in the Philippines.

media reference%3Afd16b5251856430b9736225746504c98 - PICS: 5 dead, over 3 000 schools closed after quake hits Philippines
Cracks are seen on the walls of a damaged building in Digos, Davao del Sur province, southern Philippines. Picture: Romell Bacongco/AP

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