A series of earthquakes have destroyed 17 houses and damaged 66 others in a southern Philippine town, slightly injuring three people.

Eduardo Buenacosa, disaster officer of Makilala municipality in North Cotabato province, says a magnitude-5 quake, the strongest of the tremors that shook the area Saturday, caused most of the damage in one mountain village.

He says local officials have prevented residents of houses that were destroyed from returning home because of the danger of a collapse.

He says three people were treated for bruises after they were hit by concrete fragments from collapsed walls.

The Philippine archipelago lies in the Pacific "Ring of Fire," where earthquakes and volcanic activities are common. A magnitude-7.2 earthquake in central Bohol province killed 200 people last year.