By Vatican News
The quake struck early on Tuesday, damaging buildings, toppling power lines and triggering landslides in the central area of the island of Mindanao.
Officials said at least seven people died as a result of the quake, as aftershocks continue to jolt the island.
“Please pray to the Lord that we may remain calm and alert,” Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao said in a letter to the dioceses affected by the quake. “And pray also that we will continue to care and be watchful and concerned for each other during this time of fear and anxiety”.
Archbishop Valles, who is also President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, issued a public statement asking the faithful to pray for those who lost their lives, and for the injured. He also asked the people to continue to pray for the safety of people in the earthquake-stricken area.
In Manila, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle also offered his prayers for those affected.
“Our appeal to everyone is, first, prayer to God for our brothers and sisters who are affected by the earthquake,” he speaking with Radio Veritas.
The cardinal also called on the public to lend a helping hand to those affected by the tremblor.
Meanwhile, authorities appealed for calm, as the government mobilized to undertake damage assessment, and to coordinate rescue and relief operations.